Articles Tagged: NORML

What has xCannabis been up to since 2013

November 12th, 2016 | By Pirate

In May of 2013 the editor and author of most of the blogs on this website (me Ryan Thompson), was in a horrible car accident that nearly claimed my life.  It did claim the life of the drunk driver that hit me.
Shortly after that, I went from working 96 hours a week as a robotics engineer, to being in a wheel chair and not working for several years.  
I recovered partially, and I decided after such a life changing moment, that every minute counts and I decided to not waste any more time.
So I retired essentially, while still supporting my wife in her businesses and we are now circumnavigating the globe in our 45 foot yawl (sailboat).

I recently noticed that a former colleague and a “radical” liberal radio talk show host was being condescending to Trump supporters, and he happened to step in a pile of shit with Roseanne Barr, telling her that she didn’t know as much as he did about cannabis law reform. 

I jumped in and told Russ that all of his credentials don’t mean shit when in his show #675 he says something really dumb by claiming that Bernie Sanders was the first presidential candidate to support legalization of cannabis out of the Republican or Democrat partyHe if anyone should know that Ron Paul a republican law maker, and a presidential candidate that had at least if not more support than Bernie Sanders did, had supported (along side NORML) legalizing all drugs including cannabis since the 1980s.  Russ Belville’s predecessor Chris Goldstein had even interviewed Ron Paul before Russ took over the Norml Stash, and made it a 3 ring liberal circus side show (something he later got fired from NORML for).

Well then Russ tried to insult me saying that my ranking in Alexa was down to 18 million.  Which anyone can see, that it has been dropping steadily since 2013, after I essentially stopped blogging while I recovered. 
Just this last month Alexa shows a drop of 4 million in traffic ranking, which shows 30 days ago, I was much higher.

 

But this reminded me that I had captured Russ Belville’s ranking, and traffic in 2013, and his rank was way lower than mine.  His social media interactions was so very bleak.  But today he is the come back kid, and says “In just two months, my traffic rose to the top 100,000 on Alexa”.   Which in reply to this, I told him that I had just reviewed his traffic, and it shows all of the tell-tale signs of rank manipulation.

Assessment of Belville’s fake traffic


 

Jumping from the low spot that he was in just a few short months ago, to being in the top 100,000 Alexa ranks, is an obvious sign of rank manipulation.  Which anyone with $50 can do these days, just do a google search for “alexa rank boost”

So I gave Russ this challenge.  I told him that I would register a new domain (I won’t say what it is for now), and I will do exactly what he has done to manipulate the traffic ranking, and then in two months I will reveal my stats, and it will match his metrics almost identically.   Organic traffic looks much different than Russ Belville’s traffic does.  My traffic from 2013 is clearly organic, and I can prove it (its easy to see actually in my video from 2013).  However to demonstrate how easy it is to get higher ranks, I will do it, and by January I will prove it.  I won’t do it on any domain with any meaning, just some random thing, to make my case even more obvious.

The point is, to show that these people trying to drive public opinion, lie, cheat and steal.  It’s not about ethics, and the value of their content.  To them, and people like Russ Belville, it is about their ego, and their influence. 
When their traffic sucks, they pay to manipulate ranks, and then they brag about it like they are in a big dick contest.  It’s just like polling during an election.  Polling is meant as a manipulation tactic.

But for me, I blog from time to time, like I always have.  I turned down Russ Belville’s invitation by email to join him on his 420Radio network (I can show you the email), and since then Russ has been butt hurt. 
The things most important to me, is not influence, ranks, and political stature.  My family is most important to me, which is why I have always blogged.
When my dad was dying of cancer, is when I started up xcannabis.com, to educate people about the value of cannabis as a cure for cancer
When I started protesting about the cannabis laws in my home state of Utah, I got arrested for not getting a “protesting permit”, and I hired a lawyer and nullified that law.  Which then inspired me to launch more websites about free speech  (of which, those website are a lot more active than xCannabis is right now).  
But unlike Russ Belville, I have nullified dumb laws, and I have made real changes in the world.   Russ continues to sell out and promote lousy cannabis law reform in favor of creating monopolies, and as a reward he gets sponsored by lawyers who are trying to keep their jobs defending people in court from cannabis charges.  In fact all of Russ Belville’s main sponsors have been lawyers who are desperate to maintain their jobs as cannabis lawyers, who need prohibition of some form to stay in business.

This to me in the video below is what I am focused on.  Spending time with my family. Getting to know the world we live in and circumnavigating the globe in my ship, while teaching my kids about the world.

I may get back to maintaining a regular blog.  But it won’t be any time soon.  So I suppose Russ can at least gloat that as a legitimate accomplishment.  Even though my blogs beat the pants off his for years.  Now that I am taking a break, his is king of the social media world.  SMH

Negotiating with Obama

Negotiating with Obama


 

2013 progress report, where I captured Russ Belville sad ratings and rankings in search engines, social media, and traffic reports, and compared it to my own.

Russ Belville got fired for being a liberal shill

 

It is my opinion, that if progressives were not violent, crass, hateful, and dishonest, that this country would not have completely turned over this last election to conservatives.
The liberals lost all 3 branches of government this election.  The executive office went to Donald Trump (but lets be honest, he is more of a democrat than most other republicans, and he use to be a Democrat and a good friend of Clinton), they lost both sides of Congress, and soon will have a conservative majority in the Supreme Court.  These folks doing media, need to just be more honest, and less power hungry and manipulative so that we can regain some balance.
I mean for example, look at all of the deceptiveness in the DNC, where the DNC chair was caught manipulating the primary debates by handing the questions to Hillary before the debates.  Also seeing all of the fake polling that the media was doing during the election, trying to show Hillary as the winner, to discourage conservative voters from turning out.  When people like Russ Belville claim that “Bernie was the first ever political candidate to say he would legalize cannabis” and it is obviously false, he should be aware that people will call him on it and people will lose trust in his media and his “facts”. Hopefully encouraging him and others to change over to a more turthful platform.
It is so important and more important than ever to have trustworthy, brave, and effective media like Wikileaks, to combat the fake news like that of what Russ Belville and MSM sources give.

This country is so divided right now, and while I think there are times for peace, and there is a time for every season.

Ecclesiastes 3

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

 

Passive Aggressive Activism

August 17th, 2013 | By Pirate

I have participated in all kinds of approaches to activism over the years.   Mostly anything to do with giving freedom and liberty to people.   I started out with the “it’s my body, I’ll do what I want” as a teenager.  Which got me two cannabis charges that stuck, and one that was expunged when I was a teenager (17).  I served 8 months in jail, mostly because I didn’t understand the laws and the legal system at the time.   Later after watching my father pass away from cancer, I protested in every way that I could.   I approached it with many protests, youtube videos, support for many different cannabis organizations like NORML (and their many different branches).  We started  a Causes.com page for “Cannabis Cures Cancer”  @  http://cancer.xcannabis.com

We have held an annual vigil for family and friends who have passed away from cancer, at the end of December we hold a “Cannabis Cures Cancer Awareness Week”.   http://www.causes.com/actions/1710962-cannabis-cures-cancer-awareness-week

After my dad passed away in 2008, I traveled from Washington to Utah and Idaho regularly to protest.  I tried the “tax and regulate” approach.  I tried the “no victim no crime approach”, and I got arrested for pushing too far with a protest and violating a “use of streets without a permit” law and I was arrested and put in a detention cell for a few hours.  After getting out, I hired a lawyer and a month later I got that law changed in July of 2010.

This was one of my South Eastern Idaho demonstrations 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

I have continued to do what I can to change the laws, and after all of these years.  If we are counting from the first time that I was arrested for marijuana (but not deterred), it has been 19 years.  I have learned over these years, that passively trying to effect or change these laws doesn’t do a lot of good.   If you change a law, the system of prohibition just adjusts itself, and makes the laws more strict even after relaxing them at first.  We saw this with prop215 in California, where they saw a 3x increase in possession arrests from 1990 to 2010.   People think that cannabis prohibition is so relaxed in California, but the fact is in 2010, sixty thousand (60,000) people were arrested for cannabis possesion (simply possesion!) in California.   Proof that prop215 did not relieve prohibition in California.   Hopefully SB 1449 passing will relieve prohibition a little, I am hopeful it will.  But Prop215 did the opposite of help in my opinion.

As I have watched President Obama fail to keep his promises, I have watched the liberal spectrum of the political system and I have become more and more disenchanted with that wing.   George W. Bush (I do not like him, nor did I vote for him) only had one Federal MMJ indictment under his belt as president in both terms.   Barack Obama has over 80 under his belt.  So the president who has made it so well known that he believes that the drug war has failed, and that he feels strongly about decriminalizing cannabis, has 8000% more federal cannabis indictments under his belt, than his conservative predecessor.    That blows me away!

This is my video to President Obama from 2008.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DwGdwItpCE

This video is from a top economist/professor, Jeffery Miron:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcRMRuS-J-U

But as I have watched liberal friends on facebook approach this, they seem to do the same passive aggressive law reform approach.  Like “ya prohibition is the worst thing that has plagued this country, but we’ll just relax the laws a little rather than nullify them”.    I recently wrote a few posts about Jared Allaway, because he has been leading a few of these law reform campaigns.   I wrote recently about I-584 “real legalization” in Washington and how it really doesn’t legalize anything.  It just puts another bandaid on the problem, rather than simply nullifying the harmful and illogical law completely.  It doesn’t even take cannabis off of the Washington State Unified Controlled Substances Act.
I also addressed Jared Allaway in a recent post that I made about “Socialism vs. Capitalism”.   Jared seems very passive aggressive in his comments, rather than saying exactly what he has to say, he kind of beats around the bush.   So I tried to light a fire, and I did yesterday, when I brought the same conversation up, where Jared was like “the federal government keeps persecuting cannabis people” and I said “Ya and we condone it by giving them endless tax monies”.   This comes after many conversations with Jared about how he is in agreement with Obama on “more taxes more taxes!”.
But my point is, the more taxes we give them, the more they spend on this obscene drug war, and wars over seas.
Yesterday he deleted my posts about it, and then I deleted him from my friends list.
All hail socialism or be censored

All hail socialism or be censored

I hate to delete people, and I usually don’t   But after I go way out of my way and I even make a video to illustrate my points  (no I don’t make a dime off my videos, no adwords or anything), and all of the time that I work on these points gets deleted, because someone demands to be in control.   Well, I just don’t have time for that shit.
This is the video that I made:
But I think it was good to draw the line in the sand.  Im tired of the passive aggressive activism, where no one wants to directly solve any problems, they just want to be responsible for some kind of “change”.  Pretty much ANY kind of change.   Socialism is really easy to push, because someone is rescuing someone else by giving them freebies from the government.   But socialism just doesn’t work, based on the reasons that I proposed in this blog post:   http://xcannabis.com/2013/07/socialism-or-capitalism-for-the-next-election/
I guess if push comes to shove, and it will for sure some day in this road we are headed down.  I think it’s better to push before the economy and the civilization deteriorate completely.  What happened when the USSR fell apart is the last thing that I want to see happen to our country, or for my children.  So if someone is going to propose running for governor, and Jared has.  I feel like I have the right to interject my opinion about his BS policies.
One thing that I can not be accused of, is passive aggressive action, or passive aggressive activism.   If I enlist myself in an endeavor, I go all in, or I don’t go at all.   I have to really believe in something to put myself in there.   So many people have ambition to be involved, but then they don’t get much done.  They either get rich, or they get famous, but they typically don’t get the job done.   I wouldn’t even propose putting myself in for a political campaign, unless I was willing to give it 100% and get stuff done once I get there.

A few days ago Eric Holder released his BIG NEWS about drug reform.  Rather than decriminalizing cannabis, like Obama campaigned on 6-7 years ago.    Holder says “we are going to change the mandatory minimum requirements”.  What?  That’s it!  That’s the big victory that everyone is so happy about?

Ref;   http://reason.com/archives/2013/08/14/eric-holders-prison-break

If you are an activist, it’s time to take inventory.   What have you done?  What positive change have you effected?  Have you accomplished ANY of the goals that you set out to do?   What’s the next step?   If you don’t know, it’s time to shit or get off the pot!

On that note, practicing medical physician and TV personality Sanjay Gupta came out and gave his new analysis on his old position on marijuana, and comes out decidedly in favor of ending cannabis prohibition!

http://www.businessinsider.com/sanjay-gupta-cnn-weed-thc-cbd-2013-8

 

Roger Christie will be allowed to use religious defense in court

August 15th, 2013 | By Pirate

After three years in a federal detention without bail for the alleged crime of cultivation and distribution of cannabis, it has been decided that Roger Christie and his wife Share Christie will be able to use their religious defense in court.

This is a victory for the Christie’s, for their supporters and family, and for religious freedom everywhere.

I have had long, heated arguments with agents of NORML like Russ Belville and Keith Stroup about how religious defense has worked, and can work.  But they continue to reject this possibility, even though there are plenty of cases that prove otherwise.

I believe that the Christie’s will be set free by a jury of their peers, and I think that the federal government will look foolish after wasting all of this time and all of these resources to persecute an innocent man over a harmless plant.

“HONOLULU —A federal judge has ruled Roger Christie and his wife Share Christie will be allowed to use religion as part of their defense against charges they manufactured, possessed and distributed large amounts of marijuana on the Big Island. U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi made the ruling July 31 during a status conference.

roger_christie1

 

 

 

Radical ways of pushing legalization

September 11th, 2012 | By Pirate

So for many many years I listened to Russ Belville talking about “Legalize if for everyone”.  “Medicalization of marijuana is regressive”.   There were a whole lot of catch phrases used, personal insults dealt, and the main goal was always stated and restated  “lets legalize marijuana for everyone”.

During Prop19 there were a handful of medical marijuana patients/providers who rejected the notion of what was being proposed in Prop19, because it looked like a very ambiguous reach that could effect their medical grow rights and other issues relating to their medicine.

It was an honest concern for some, and it was blatant greed and exclusiveness for others.

But Russ took this as an attack on his freedom, and his work and made it very personal.
In radio interviews with other NORML folks, like Kevin Oliver and others it was always a big “us against them” type of thing.  This made for some pretty explosive conversations on the NORML Daily Audio Stash.   Aside from the name calling it was also just a way to belittle, berate and take frustions out on other activists from what I could tell.

This insult swap match reached all time lows as “Radical Russ” attacked Roger Christie in Hawaii in multiple posts.  One after another insulting Roger for taking donations.  Of which NORML did as well as many of their advertisers too.  But when Roger Christie did the same thing, it caused posts on the NORML stash titled such things as “The Church of Lighter Wallets”.

Mind you, Roger Christie has always been on board with what Russ proposed as “legalization for everyone”, and Roger to my knowledge had NEVER opposed any legalization initiative or movement.  In fact Roger often attended NORML conferences and supported NORML.

But in Roger’s time of need, when the authorities were persecuting him most, and before he was arrested for anything over a half a dozen posts on the NORML Stash blog, and several live broadcasts were launched against Roger for his religious beliefs and nothing else.

Russ claims that the attack was because Roger was taking donations for “get out of jail free cards”.  But up until that point and even some time after that Russ had advertisers on the NORML stash, as well as reports about and in favor of Medical Marijuana doctors and card issuers and it was never a problem for Russ to endorse, advertise and praise those folks who were issuing “get out of jail free cards” in regards to medical marijuana.

Fast forward a few years, and I-502 comes out, which is NOT AT ALL what Russ had been promoting for years prior to the release of I-502.   But Russ along with his friend Alison Holcomb at the ACLU started berating those opposed to I-502, who based on the restrictive, un-scietific, and regressive driving provisions reject the initiative.  But Russ’s take on it was “these people are just greedy patients”.  Saying that the reason people were opposing I-502 is because they are worried about their bottom line.  Alison Holcomb picked up on this, and waged the same kind of attack on those opposed to I-502.  Despite that she herself opposed EVERY other legalization initiative in Washington prior to I-502.  Not only did she not endorse or help those initiatives, she outright denounced them and rejected them.
Yet Russ didn’t complain too much about that.   He didn’t mention how much lawyers have to lose when cannabis is ACTUALLY legalized, or delve into the motives behind why the ACLU has remained practically silent on this major civil rights issue for over 75 years.  No Russ only had crass words for the pro-cannabis crowd.

Well this election season is no different.  Russ has complained several times about the OCTA 2012 (Measure 80 initiative) in his shock jock kind of way.  In fact I’ve recently started slipping when referring to Russ and the words have came out of my mouth “Russ Limbaugh”.

First it was that Measure 80 wasn’t going to make the ballot, and Russ thought that his devine wisdom in the form of insults could motivate the initiative drive and get Measure 80 on the ballot.
Well congrats Russ, your motivational speeches worked.  YOU did it!

Now that it is on the ballot, Russ is sure that he can push Measure 80 through by insulting Paul Stanford for throwing a cannabis festival outside of city limits rather than taking the platoform of Hempfest (which of course was a festival this year in solidarity mostly against Russ’s beloved I-502).
Not to mention Russ’s disapproval of the way Measure 80 has been funded and such.
RE:  While marijuana legalization campaign struggles, Oregon activists throw a smoke-in

I just wonder to myself after reading Russ’s biography.  About how he has had some superb jobs, some as an IT consultant, some as a Wall Street consultant, etc.   I just wonder with all of this excellent intellect and ability to influence financial firms and such.  Why isn’t Russ bank rolling these efforts?

I know that Russ has been taking a pay check for his efforts.  But if this was true activism, and if Russ is as good as he says he is.  Wouldn’t it make sense that Russ could use his financial wisdom to help rather than criticize?

Paul Stanford has dumped more money into legalization cannabis than anyone I know.  And there may be others, but I certainly don’t consider any efforts in I-502 to be working towards ending prohibition, especially when they are introducing many new prohibitions.   So in all of history I can’t think of anyone who is working towards personal grows, personal possession, personal distribution, etc any more than Paul Stanford.

So is this really the way to push legalization?  Insulting others.  Harming their reputation?  ralying his audience against this person or that person?   Or is that just mob mentality which places Russ at the helm of the mob, adding to just one more position on his long and impressive resume?

Although I don’t know how that would look on a resume or what job you would apply for in something like that.   “2008-2012  Worked at the front position of a mob to rally people against others who I disagree with”?

Maybe he could get a job with the League of Militant Atheists if they ever reorganize, now that Stalin is dead and all?   I wrote about that awhile back:  Is militant atheism a sore spot for the legalization movement?

But over all, I don’t see this Radical notion of “divide and conquer” helping the legalization movement.  Nor to I think consenting to new prohibitions is helping either such as is found in Initiative 502 in Washington state.

What would impress me however is if Russ dumped the kind of money many other activists that he is working against do into legalization.  I personally spent over 15% of my income for several years into this cause, despite having children and responsibility that Russ doesn’t have.  Which 15% isn’t nearly what Paul Stanford is pouring into this cause, but it is a good portion of Russ’s annual salary with NORML.  (according to what Russ revealed in his debate at the Baker Institute).

There are many people doing more than myself, more than most.  But certainly none that I know of that are doing more than Paul Stanford is.

So I think it really makes Russ lose credibility to insult people that are devoting their lives to ending prohibition and instead backing lawyers in the ACLU who have grossly ignored prohibition for over 75 years.

I don’t know if this is a pissing contest, or if Russ actually thinks this will help some how?
Point is I have to denounce this behavior because as Russ asserts, he is trying to be “The Voice of The Marijuana Nation”.  But his voice does not represent me at all.

However I have to give him credit for putting together a very professional show, and for presenting very good facts.  I just think his ambition to be a leader is contradicted by his inability to lead very well.

References:

 

Thoughts on family, gay marriage, political separations plus I get pulled over by the cops!

August 16th, 2012 | By Pirate

On my way home from a long trip with my family, I talk about the recent issues in life.
I had a few thoughts on the Dan Cathy/Gay Marriage issue. So I talk about why I stand up for free speech. I think that it is highly inappropriate for mayors and elected officials to use their political power to hurt the business of someone else.

I spoke about how people think cannabis consumers never work or do anything, because of recent accusations from family.

I also talk about how being a father effects my politics. It really does too.
How it effects my decision to support or promote things like gay marriage and polygamy, and why I can not support gay marriage or polygamy from a personal point of view, yet how I support everyone including gay folks and polygamists to have all of the same rights that I have.

 

This is my mug shot from when I was 18 years old, in Salt Lake City.  I got busted for 2 grams of marijuana.
Shortly after this mug shot, I left Utah for Washington state.  A few years later I found a relationship with Christ, and due to influence from the book of Romans in the bible chapter 12 and 13 specifically, I was inspired to turn myself in on bench warrants that I ran away from in regards to these marijuana arrests.   I served 8 months in jail on 3 different arrests for pot and the most I ever had was 14 grams of pot.
This is why I am in favor of ending all criminal penalties on cannabis (and not introducing new regressive laws in their place).

This is the only mugshot I could find of myself. I was surprised I didn’t find at least one other. Because like I said I was arrested 3 different times for cannabis. (nothing else though)
I wish I could find the others. I may have to put a FOIA request in to the jail for that.
It interesting seeing this, and comparing to now. I don’t look much different. LOL

The Russ Belville Show starts June 4th 2008

May 20th, 2012 | By Pirate

Recently the NORML Network was cancelled. Since then Russ has been regrouping to do the Russ Belville show.
In an article on his website dated May 19th 2012, Russ asks “What would you like to see in The Russ Belville Show?”.

I think about Russ’s career in politics and the evolution of what was built at the NORML stash/NORML Live show.

First I think of when Russ drummed in the Obama presidency and campaign for Barack Obama.
As if Russ couldn’t tell that Obama was an establishment politician? Well either he was ok with that, or he was naive about how Barack Obama would change.

When Russ was drumming in the Obama administration, I was asking Obama if he was going to be a liar, which I suspected that he would.

This is Russ’s speech about Barack Obama in October 2008.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_nXj-EZ5TE

This was my video addressing Barack Obama in December 2008.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DwGdwItpCE&feature=plcp

In Russ’s video he praises Barack Obama without hesitation.

In my video I point out how Barack Obama campaigns on a marijuana platform of decriminalization, and “leave patients alone” and such. He also chides his opponents for not being forthcoming and not keeping their promises. I point out that I did not support Barack Obama, but instead I supported Ralph Nader and that while I appreciate Barack Obama as president, I want to see him be forthright and honest (just like he insisted that Hillary Clinton do).

Well in the end Barack Obama lied. He didn’t keep his promises in the least, and laughed at any questions that came his way regarding cannabis.

For a few years Russ talked a good game, and worked diligently to unite the community and share essential information about cannabis.
Around the year 2010 that started to change, and we started seeing constant attacks on Roger Christie and other people with religious faith.
The division in the cannabis community became more pronounced with Proposition 19 and the name calling and infighting that was launched from the NORML camp.
Then with I-502, more of the same insults, and personal attacks on opponents.

Fast forward to a week ago when it was announced that Russ Belville would not be doing the NORML network anymore but instead would just be doing the 30 minute podcast.

Now Russ asks what people would like to see in the new Russ Belville show that will start up on June 4th 2012. This is his questionnaire:

http://radicalruss.com/?p=216#contact-form-216

This is my response to Russ via his contact form:

Name: Ryan Thompson
Email: info@xcannabis.com
What are your favorite parts of the show that should absolutely remain the same?: I love the in-depth facts about current cannabis news and legislation, I love the different voices and opinions on the topics as well.
What time would be best for you to catch the show live?: 5pm Pacific
The show will expand topics beyond just marijuana law reform, what do you think of that?: Excellent – marijuana reform is just one of many issues of personal freedom
If the show is going to be streaming in 720p HD, is that going to be a problem for your computer and bandwidth?: Maybe / I don’t know
What are your least favorite parts of the show that should be abolished immediately? (It’s just you and me – be honest, but constructive.): I don’t like the lack of objectivity when it comes to opposing points of view, for example to the infighting with the Prop19 opponents (I was a supporter of Prop19) and the disparaging words and rage against I-502 descenders (I am one of those). The facts are great. Presenting both sides is great. But the personal rage and slant on those topics make your show EXTREMELY hard to listen to, and in the past 18 months I have only listened to your show many 5 times. Where as before I listened to your show almost daily.
Anything else?: You are a smart guy, a professional broadcaster, and I am glad that you do what you do. Please be more respectful to religion, libertarian ideals, and people who disagree with you.

For further information about what I mean when I compared Chris Goldstein to Russ Belville. Chris Goldstein started the NORML Daily Audio Stash and later became a chapter president in New Jersey.
Chris Goldstein’s interview with Ron Paul in 2007 is what made me aware of NORML and had a lot to do with me becoming a supporter.

This is my video response to Russ’s questionnaire:

This is the interview that inspired me to become a supporter of NORML:
Ron Paul on NORML May 24th 2007

part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8t7jqis2Mc
part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZJSHYPkWbo

In the end I wish Russ the best. I won’t be sad to see several of the NORML Live guest hosts go.
I think that this will be a good change for NORML and for Russ.

NORML LIVE SHOW GETS CANCELLED?

May 14th, 2012 | By Pirate

I am sad to say that the NORML live show got cancelled according to Russ Belville in a blog post and a vlog post today 05/14/2012.

Though, I am glad he is going to continue the Daily NORML Audio Stash.

Here is Russ’s words on the subject.

http://stash.norml.org/goodbye-norml-network

This is my video on the subject.

I had some personal issues with NORML, and I kind of got tired of the infighting.
But NORML is a good voice in most cases they represent the movement well.
I won’t be sad to see GanjaJon go, but I will miss Cannabis Kari.

My response to Marc and Jodie Emery about I-502

May 1st, 2012 | By Pirate

Courtesy of Cannabis Culture Magazine

A clip from Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Magazine blog post :

Marc’s US Prosecutor Pushes for Legalization; Exclusive Newspaper Articles about Marc & Prison Life

by Marc Emery – Saturday, April 28 2012

The great news continues. My former prosecutor John McKay, not content with just being a lecturer on the evils of the drug war, is also co-sponsor of an excellent legalization initiative on the Washington State ballot this November. Apology accepted, Mr. McKay! What’s really disturbing though, is the number of the ‘grassroots’ activists in Washington state who are absurdly opposing the I-502 legalization bill because of a clause that allows police to issue DUI’s if a very high level of THC is in the bloodstream while driving. Otherwise, adults can possess, transport, and buy at licensed outlets a huge range of cannabis buds – all legally, without fear of arrest or prosecution. That’s incredible!
Currently 10,000 people in Washington State get arrested for pot possession each year. That would end under this legislation. How ironic that I currently have far more respect for my former prosecutor and his proposed legislation than I have for those activists who would foolishly and dangerously oppose this great step forward over trivialities, much the same way as done by many so-called members of the movement who killed Prop. 19 in California in 2010. Much of the Washington state opposition to I-502 is rooted in adversarial jealousy, because after three attempts, some activists just can’t get an initiative of their own on the ballot, so resent McKay, the ACLU and their backers who did manage to get I-502 on the ballot. Sometimes the famous quip Pogo Possum said in the eponymous cartoon is correct: “We have met the enemy, and it us.”
I implore all Washington State activists and concerned citizens to support I-502. Read the very important editorial in the NY Times by Seattle activist Dominic Holden called Smokeless in Seattle” and NORML’s Russ Belville’s blog on why supporting I-502 with your vote this November is essential. I think Russ Belville is the best commentator out there regarding our movement, and all his writings are very, very good.

 

From Reverend Ryan:
Dear Marc and Jodie,
I wanted to let you know that I have great admiration for the Emery’s, but I strongly disagree with I-502.

When I started getting active again was in 2008 when Marc’s story enraged me, that our government would cross the border and terrorize a Canadian over something as harmless as seeds.

It makes me even more furious that Marc is locked up right now, with over 800 days left on his 5 year sentence.

I made a few videos back in 2008 telling my story of serving 8 months for possession of just a few grams of weed. My 3rd video was a thank you to you and Marc for agreeing to an interview with me. One that we never got done, because life took its course for me over and over, and you were very busy.

This was our thank you video in 2008:

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

So while I don’t bring the same style or “activism” as Steve Elliot does.

I have to agree with him on a few things.  Marc’s letter was incendiary with the name calling, and petty insults.

I think he may have a lot of great ideas, but supporting I-502 is not one of them in my opinion.

If I-502 passes, we’ll have to deal with it. But I-502 is a last ditch effort by prohibitionists to keep control.

If you paid any attention to SB 5073 last year, you will realize there will be no stores, no state regulated grows, no one will be able to legally gift a bud, or share a joint, and the strictness of the DUID provisions is going backwards.

All of this for an ounce decrim? Heck last year I moved to California, and all they do for an ounce here is give you a $100 fine if they find it worth their time. Usually they just don’t care.
NO DUID limits were needed.

 

Jodie in one of her comments said:

“In BC, the police have the right, under law, to order a blood sample from any driver they deem “impaired” from drugs. But even though that’s the law, it never happens. That concern is a red herring put forth by Washington activists. (I wish I had the chance to post that on Steve Elliot’s terrible post about Marc on his Facebook account, but I unfriended him after he started insulting me personally and immaturely and unprofessionally bragging about his website kicking Cannabis Culture’s ass…)

Also, I-502 is meant to open marijuana stores for adults to buy from, not to nab marijuana users (which they already do now). It would be pointless for the state government to set up a system for stores to sell marijuana and growers to supply it, then arrest every store customer as they leave. That’s nonsensical. The government wants money, and they know they’ll make tons of it by ending police arrests and court work for possession cases, and allowing adults to by up to a full ounce at a time at each store. If fewer people are arrested and avoid criminal records and suffering, that’s a good thing. Always.”

 

This is one of my recent video blogs about I-502.

This is a vlog post from last year about I-502 that covers the accusations that people who oppose I-502 are “Stoners Against Legalization”

Stoners Against Legalization OR Voters Against NEW Prohibitions

 

This is an open letter in response to Marc Emery’s comments about Washington activists by a Washington activist:

Dear Mr. Emery,
I would like to say I hold you in the highest regard, and have the utmost respect for you.
I was at your trial, I was at your sentencing, and I held signs on a freeway overpass, next to your wife, Mrs. Emery, on Free Marc Emery Day. She is still, to this day, one of the nicest people I have ever met, and much like yourself, an ideal representative for our movement.
You two are one of the many reasons I have dedicated the last few years of my life to cannabis activism, and plan to continue until we affirm change. This is why I am shocked, confused and saddened by your remarks on activists here in Washington, and the proposed Initiative 502.
I will admit, you and Mrs. Emery are better people than I, to hold no resentment towards your former prosecutor John McKay. I find it difficult to not begrudge the man who sent an icon for our movement to prison for five years, tearing you away from your family and country.
I know McKay said it was his job, but as a great man once said, “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I feel one has a moral responsibility to not enforce unjust laws as well, especially when put in a position of power where you are meant to protect the citizens you govern. It is hard to comprehend how one would rather cling to the prestige of a job title than choose not to incarcerate non-violent citizens.
Our hearts dropped when we found out you were getting five years — as, I’m sure, did yours. But, you have the forgiveness of saints, and you are all the better for it.
As for the initiative Mr. McKay is sponsoring; I-502 is not legalization, and in fact, creates a new form of prohibition. It is incredibly difficult for many of us who spend our lives working for legalization, to oppose this initiative. However, we cannot in good conscience support something that will further criminalize our citizens, specifically targeting the most vulnerable of our citizens, medical patients.
Currently, there are thousands of arrests for cannabis possession in Washington. Many of these are for over an ounce, and many of these occur at roadside. As the law stands, if you do encounter law enforcement while driving, and you have THC in your blood, the officer must prove your impairment to issue a DUI. Since THC processes through each individual at a unique rate, there is no way to determine impairment based on a number – therefore, the proposed 5ng limit in I-502 is completely arbitrary.
There are tens of thousands of medical cannabis patients in Washington State. Most of them will be over the 5ng limit constantly, due to their increased tolerance and need to medicate regularly for their medical conditions. This does not mean they are constantly impaired, but that a 5ng limit does not take into consideration their needs and simply incriminates them (and the proposed zero tolerance policy for those under 21 immediately criminalizes any patient in that age group, of which our state has many).
The same applies to heavy recreational users who build up a tolerance over time. I-502 institutes a per se law, and does not include rebuttable presumption, so any person caught on the road over 5ng is immediately guilty of a DUI, with no applicable defense in court – even patients. This strips our citizens of the right to a fair trial.
Studies have been done to determine a significant and science-based level of THC/blood content at which we may draw a legal line. So far, we have yet to establish a limit that we can use to reasonably determine intoxication. In fact, the State of Colorado appointed a working group commission to study the validity of a 5ng limit (the same proposed in I-502). They came to the conclusion that there is no consensus to apply such a limit, and that it has the distinct possibility of prosecuting innocent (unimpaired) individuals.
A State Representative here in Washington, Mr. Roger Goodman, proposed an 8ng limit for this state, and personally withdrew his proposal after suffering public backlash, and examining the science. He helped Colorado defeat the bill proposing a 5ng limit. Furthermore, organizations like NORML and MPP (which goes as far as calling this same limit absurd) have been lobbying and fighting against per se DUI limits for cannabis for decades. This is not just a few small voices in Washington crying foul – there has been an on-going effort to deter the implementation of a per se DUI limit in states across the country.
If you need more proof of how negative this policy is, look to our Drug Czar. One of his top priorities is establishing a per se limit on a national level.
I would also like to speak on the presumption that, should I-502 pass, adults will be capable of opening cannabis retail locations or purchasing up to an ounce, without fear of arrest or prosecution. Ignoring the fact that two adults riding in the same car together each carrying a legal ounce would still be considered guilty of a constructive possession felony charge; ignoring the fact that two adults passing a joint to each other (even if it’s rolled from a legal ounce) would still be guilty of distribution (which smacks of entrapment from lack of protection provided for people who will think smoking a joint with a friend will be legal); ignoring all of these facts, I-502 is not written to withstand the looming threat of federal pre-emption (if a state law comes in conflict with our federal laws, the state law is nullified and federal law presides).
Besides the fact that I-502 can, and likely will, be federally pre-empted, there is the real risk of the federal government directly targeting and attacking the individuals who open, or attempt to open, the cannabis retail locations this initiative claims we will be allowed to establish.
Since I-502 does not include any home-grow provision, every person who wishes to cultivate, process, or distribute cannabis will have to seek a permit from the State Liquor Control Board. Each individual will be mandated to put their name on a list, which will be readily available for the federal government to access, and do what they will with the information (the fingerprints of all applicants will be sent to the FBI), putting individuals in the position to face swift and harsh federal penalties, similar to the travesty you’ve faced.
If the federal government is cracking down on medical dispensaries and co-ops in this state, what would give anyone reason to believe they would be any less harsh towards actual recreational retail locations? Unfortunately, there are those who won’t worry about putting their name on that list, since they will be under the impression that they are operating under the legal guidelines 502 offers them.
It is for all of these reasons, that your statement about activists in Washington strikes me to the core. Your words have dealt a tremendous blow to the heart of cannabis activism in this state. The grassroots activists that you refer to, that oppose I-502, have been fighting to defend our citizens from unjust cannabis laws – and continue to do so, through battling prohibition, and now the newest form of prohibition proposed by I-502.
Again, it is a very difficult thing for those of us who support legalization to oppose this initiative. Were it not for the criminalization of every cannabis consumer who drives (again, by mandating something our Drug Czar heavily promotes), there are many of us who would consider supporting it as a step in the right direction, or at the very least wouldn’t be in opposition to it. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and many of us feel this will be incredibly detrimental to the cause as a whole, and specifically to the citizens of Washington State (and any other states that would choose to follow our example, should we pass this initiative).
It is demoralizing to have people talk us down over such legitimate concerns. People such as Mr. Russ Belville, who you mentioned, and who I also greatly respect for the work he has done for this movement. I will agree he wrote only positive-influence pieces before he started saying things like “I have lost my patience for patients. Yeah, yeah, you’re sick and disabled, sorry to hear it.”
This is a poor representation of our culture, and I cringe to hear someone affiliated with the movement say such apathetic things about sick and disabled individuals. In my work as a cannabis activist, I often advocate those new to the movement look to people such as yourself as a role-model. You have done more and sacrificed more for this cause than most will ever do, and for that I feel many should look to you as an inspiration.
Your stance on I-502, however, leaves me with the painful and overwhelming disappointment of having to state that, in this instance, you are wrong.
I hope that what I have stated here will not offend you in any way, as I have tried to express only my incredible gratitude towards you and your family for the contributions you have made to this movement, and I sincerely hope that it will make you think through this situation with a new perspective. All we can do is educate people and hope they make the right decisions with that knowledge. I hope this gives you the information you need to reconsider your support for I-502, and your feelings towards activists here in Washington.
Thank you again for everything you have done for this movement. I hope you are well, and I wish for your swift return to freedom and your family.
Sincerely,
Cydney Moore
Cannabis Activist,
Washington State

CA AB 2552 – DUI provisions becoming a major trend

March 12th, 2012 | By Pirate

Less than a month ago (Feb 17th) NORML endorsed I-502 officially.
Shortly after that two more states jumped on the bandwagon in a away.
These two states jumping on the bandwagon are only jumping on to the DUID limits on cannabis bandwagon.

Colorado =  February 27th 2012  Senate Bill 117

California = March 10th 2012   AB 2552

NORML Endorses I-502
http://blog.norml.org/2012/02/17/endorsed-norml-supports-marijuana-legalization-initiative-in-washington-state/