Articles Tagged: opponents

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.

This was my video addressing Barack Obama in December 2008.

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:

This is my response to Russ via his contact form:

Name: Ryan Thompson
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:
part 2:

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.

Ian Moody for US Congress? I am concerned about his plan.

September 7th, 2011 | By Pirate

Ian Moody for U.S. Congress in Washington State?  I think this deserves a serious discussion.

I have known of Ian Moody since April 2010, and I am sad to say that ever since I met him, he has been going after anyone who disagrees with him on a personal level.  In April 2010 he came to my forums on Facebook and posted this:

“Dispensary owners were among the most vocal of opponents during Sensible Spokane’s efforts to liberalize marijuana laws on a local level. This was disheartening to say the least, not to mention an eye opener. Time to separate the drug dealers from the business owners. Follow along as I debate the matter:”

Ian Moody supported SB 5073 in the Spring of 2011 which I had informed him all year would end up screwing patients.  Which in the long run it definitely did that.

Then when he was frustrated with some people in Sensible Washington, he started bad mouthing the Sensible Washington initiative 1149.

After that in May, when he joined up with the ASA he was asking people to not talk about full legalization at meetings and rallies, and I asked him why.
After asking him why, he starting attacking me verbally on the internet.  I had not attacked him at all, I just asked someone else a question who was supporting the ASA why they won’t allow for talk of full legalization.   Ian as coordinator of the ASA for Spokane came at me and threw a fit.

This is a video of where he out of no-where flipped out on me:

This is more on that.

He threw a fit not only with me, but you can hear Tricia Rogers talking about a fit that she witnessed Ian throw in person.

These are my questions to Ian Moody as a candidate for the U.S. Congress:

As a rep in the U.S. congress, how would you represent on the following issues:

1. Regulation of recreational cannabis
A. Would you support strict regulations, or would you treat cannabis less strictly than alcohol?
B. Would be in favor of DUID limits in blood content for THC?
C. Would you be in favor of the government regulation of the sales and production of cannabis, such as having the liquor board control these things, or maybe a different agency?

2. Medical cannabis
A. Would you be in favor of putting cannabis in a lesser schedule on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), such as Schedule II, III, IV, or V
B. Would you be in favor of provision set forth in SB 5073 such as requiring a registry and a database of patients info?

3. Hemp
A. Would industrial hemp production be a focal point, or an after thought? I know you said you are running on that platform. So I wonder how you would approach that topic. Im guessing you would support HR 1831?

The link below is about this debate in Colorado about the 5ng blood limits for THC that was ultimately rejected.

As for those who support the 5NG per ML blood limits for cannabis impairment.  These laws are not needed.  Washington RCW already provides laws to deal with Reckless driving:


(1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.

(2) The license or permit to drive or any nonresident privilege of any person convicted of reckless driving shall be suspended by the department for not less than thirty days.


[1990 c 291 § 1; 1979 ex.s. c 136 § 85; 1967 c 32 § 67; 1965 ex.s. c 155 § 59.]

For reference Ian has posted a website on his flyers that is not even registered “” is not a registered website as of 9/08/2011.
So this whole ploy for running for congress is probably just a way to create a scene for himself. If he actually runs, I would be surprised.

Standing together vs. falling apart

March 14th, 2011 | By Pirate

One thing that warlords, politicians and religious leaders who have been known in history for oppressing other peoples have in common is there ability of weakening their enemy through dividing them internally.
This is well known and regularly used as a tactic even to this day.   Instead of fighting the enemy, a campaign to turn people against each other is the best use of resources so that losses stay at a minimum and essentially the enemy conquers themselves.

This is true in slavery for sure.  We see it with African slaves who were sold into slavery by their own tribes or neighboring tribes.  The motivating factor was of course money.
We saw this also in the Emerald Isles during the potato famine  which actually had been brewing for about 400 years where the oppressors denied the oppressed land and status, and in backhanded ways divided the culture by securing a few key opponents with money and status, thus dividing the culture that they were oppressing and making them weaker within themselves.

This type of thing is also happening in the cannabis community, where big money talks to many activists who otherwise have a good cause and what appears to be a strong heart.  People get sucked into the money game, and then end up being divided with would-be friends and supporters.  I think a good example of that is the Christopher Stevens case in Spokane that I recently posted about.

I have been saddened that friends I know are so torn, and people who I have been friends with are distance from activism and have been pulled into cannabis corporations which do not typically hold the same values as a legalization activist.

So I have been trying to stay away from that form of corruption.  I have tried to keep the money factor out of my activism.
I mean yah, we do sell t-shirts and merchandise.  But even though I could have opened up a dispensary many times over by now, I have not done so, while I am working on activism in Washington, because I dont want to become complacent or greedy like so many shop owners that I know.

These people who were talking about nothing except full legalization a few years ago, are doing NOTHING to help the cause now that they are making hundreds of thousands of dollars.   And you would think, these cannabis business folks who are making so much money from this cause, would have so much more to give now that they are making so much from the cannabis community.
But what do they give?  How do they help?   What are they doing to restore freedom to the rest of the community?
It seems like all of their talk of legalization has gone to the bank.

I think we need to all get back under the umbrella of working together for freedom.  Instead of all of this divisive money making.

Anyway, for St. Patricks day I wanted to celebrate the partial liberation of several enslaved people in this country.   There is so much more to it beyond what is in this 8 minute presentation that I made.    I think it is easy however, to find common ground.

This movie is about cultural diversity via the African liberation movement and via the Irish liberation movement in America.
Both people suffered dearly to their oppression.  Yet because of the struggle they endured they came out stronger and more united as a result.  Hence how I related this to the cannabis movement.   Those in the cannabis community need to unite.  No snitching,  no taking monetarily beneficial sides of this which ultimately divide us.    As many o’ freedom fighters have said “united we stand, divided we fall”.


Devils advocate; Prop19 does not exempt cannabis medicine from taxes

August 22nd, 2010 | By Pirate

This is the statement I often get from opponents of Prop 19.

“Proposition 19 does not exempt patients from taxes”

My answer:

If Proposition 215 doesn’t already do that, then Proposition 19 won’t change anything.

Medical marijuana is already technically taxable in California.

At present only a portion of the state’s 200-plus medical cannabis dispensaries pay sales taxes. In principle, medical cannabis is subject to sales tax under current Board of Equalization rules, which exempt only drugs dispensed in licensed pharmacies by a physician’s prescription. However, many patients’ groups contend that sales tax shouldn’t apply to non-profit cooperatives and collectives.

So that is a reason for another new initiative.  If people want marijuana to not be a taxable substance for patients, then they need to step up to the plate and make that happen.  Because medical marijuana, unless prescribed via a pharmacy with DEA drug scheduling, etc, is not presently exempt from taxes.  So again, Prop19 doesn’t change Prop215.