Articles Tagged: Prison

Music from my childhood

January 31st, 2010 | By Pirate

When I was a rough tough teen, this was my cup of java.
Social Distortion made it to the top of the 90’s most sought punk rock bands, getting regularly booked at little and large gigs that were the spices of life for thousands of old and young people all over the world.   One of my first tattoos was of the Social D dancing skeleton logo.  I never tattooed any other band’s logo on me.  I never tattooed any other name.   Just symbols, words, fish and my brother Justin’s face.

But Social Distortion inspired me so much that I got their logo tattooed on me, as seen in the picture below.
Social Distortion

I just heard a new song from this band, well new to me anyway.  I really like it.  It’s live, so it’s probably difficult for some to hear it.  But these were the shows I went to all my life, so it comes in quite clear to me.

Angle’s Wings

This is another favorite of mine from this band:
I fought the law (cover)

I grew up believing my life was hard, and this music helped me vent.
I know of a lot of people who had it a whole helluva lot worse than I had it.
For instance, look at the horror that people are suffering in Haiti right now!

But I wrote about my life story at BehindZionCurtain.com.   While this story doesn’t have
a lot to do with marijuana.  At that point in my life, marijuana was both my pain and my happiness.
Pain from spending nearly 8 months total in jail over a 2-3 year period of time.
For nothing more than possession of marijuana, I got locked up over an over.
This victimless ‘crime’ only fueled my jaded attitude and dark view of the world.

I fortunately survived without killing myself, and I am so glad that I did.
I love my family so much, I have the most amazing kids!
But my youngest brother Justin didn’t make it.
He killed himself at age 16.
See this post that I made in November last year.

Justin was also a persecuted cannabis smoker, and was regularly harassed by the police.
Which didn’t help his attitude or his social life.
Having the police constantly harassing you in a place like Utah
where just about everything fun is illegal, or forbidden by the Mormon church, including the exclusion of coffee and tea!
Makes it hard to get dates, and hard to have friends. 
This is my brother’s memorial site:  http://justin-thompson.com
I miss him, hurts like hell!

In Utah,  where anti-depressant abuse is an epidemic, where studies have shown Utah uses twice as much as the national average of anti-depressants and pain killers.  
All that is fine in Utah.  But medicating yourself with a safe, natural herb is forbidden and shamed.

When I listen to Social D, it brings back so many memories and emotions.

Anyway, time for a fatt bowl!  Cheers to old times, and old friends!

Prison Nation, putting people in jail for victimless crimes

June 21st, 2009 | By Pirate

Why is America a prison nation?

In the USA we have approximately 5% of the total world’s population.  Yet we have 25% of the total world’s prison population.
More than 80% of all of those in prison are serving time for non-violent offenses, which are mostly made up of drug offenses.

Our prohibition laws have been in place since 1937, and we are the most strict industrialized country in the world on drug prohibition, and yet our problem doesn’t get better it gets worse.  More people are using, and more people are addicted to drugs than in nearly all of the ‘free world’.

When we look at countries that have decriminalized, like Canada, Australia, Holland, etc..  These countries have less of a crime problem, less of an addiction problem, less users, etc..

Prohibition makes drugs taboo.   When people feel like they are being kept from something without justification it makes people want to use the prohibited activity more often it seems.

Here is a video that I made about how prohibition effected me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7n2bH5YPco

Marc Emery will be sentenced

June 4th, 2009 | By Pirate

Cannabis Culture’s pot warrior Marc Emery has accepted a plea deal to 1 count of drug trafficing and will be sentenced this fall.

I am sad to see the end of this fight come to a conclusion, but I am happy for Marc that he feels that he made the best choice in this matter.

Marc Emery will be writing a book in prison, and Cannabis Culture will be continuing on.

Also, as a tribute to this man.  He and his team at Cannabis Culture is what inspired me to take up this cause myself.

We love you Marc!

See the latest on this from PotTV in this YouTube video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-t1Nq7OcE8[/youtube]

Marc Emery accepts plea deal

Memorial Day, Marijuana POW’s

May 23rd, 2009 | By Pirate

I have been a Prisoner of War in this “War on Drugs”. As a teenager, when I was just beginning my life I was locked up and heavily fined for doing nothing more than possessing a harmless plant.

Marijuana Prisoner of War

Marijuana Prisoner of War

Marijuana prohibition locks up hundreds of thousands of people and 89% of these prisoners are locked up for simple possession of this harmless plant. These people don’t start out as hardcore criminals, then end up becoming acquainted with that lifestyle only AFTER being locked up with murderers, thieves, and rapists. Marijuana prohibition and this “war on drugs” is an assault on the American people.
For those other P.O.W.’s of this inane war, I will be out protesting against the WAR on drugs.

A few months ago, I wrote an article about being denied the right to serve my country as a result of this war on Americans.
Please read this, as we remember our veterans this Memorial Day weekend.

http://xcannabis.com/2009/03/i-was-denied-the-ability-to-serve-my-country/

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYkG5-RYMJ8[/youtube]

Bloggers ask for the numbers on marijuana prohibition

May 1st, 2009 | By Pirate

I have recently moved to Idaho, and I now go to a few local Idaho blogs.  One of the coolest blogs (and most frusterating) is the Idaho Falls Today blog @  www.idahofallstoday.com

This blog from the get go posted up my first protest in Idaho, the marijuana Tax Day protest, which you can see here:

Marijuana Tax Day Protest @ Idaho Falls Today

One thing about people on the internet is that most of the will say things to others on the internet that they would NEVER say to people in their face.

I recently noticed that Im not the only one with this concern on this site:

http://www.idahofallstoday.com/2007/03/14/into-the-woods-of-anonymous-speech/#comment-31631

But when it comes to marijuana legalization, there is a hostile presence of these anonymous folks, and it seems like they don’t want this topic discussed.
It’s not that they simply don’t have any interests in this topic.  It is that they go out of their way to read what I say, and the respond with a hostile message about me, or the subject.
They will say “I hate coming to this site, and seeing marijuana is the topic”..
What puzzles me is that they have to actually dig, and make a lot of effort to even find the topic.  It’s no longer on the front page, yet they still hunt this topic down, and respond in fury against it.

Well, to curb that insane behavior from effecting the conversation, I am just going to post one of the most relevant responses in the whole discussion:

Marcus from:   http://www.diseasedmedia.com/

Says this:

“you’re posting figures, please cite your sources. Math is fine and dandy, but anybody can throw a number out there and multiply it by another number.”

The reason that is so relevant, is because he is one of few asking for answers, and usually participating constructively in the conversation.

The answer is helpful for our community too, so I am posting it here so that when people ask for the numbers and the references it will be easy to find:

People keep saying that they want references.

Example:  Anonymouse “You don’t seem to want to point out all the information on anything. You pick and choose what you want people to know and the fact is, people aren’t going to prison for petty marijuana possesion”

So far I have given the reference of a respectable, conservative judge:

His website:

http://www.judgejimgray.com/

Youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RWfCwl0lZo

I have given a reference from a Harvard economist:
Dr. Jeffery Miron

http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/

Youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GXQ4xSgIuY

I have given a link to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which is a group of nearly 1,000 current and former law enforcement agents that voice this data also.

http://www.leap.cc

YouTube Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LayaGk0TMDc

And if your visit MPP, you will see more mynute details on this topic.

http://blog.mpp.org/category/tax-and-regulate/

And if you want the best reasons I’ve ever heard. Look up what Ron Paul says about it.

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

And this one specifically to Marcus’ statement:

Marcus, which numbers did I not give references for?

You mean, how many people are in prison, and what it costs to house them?

Here is a graph (which also shows why 2002 data is not as relevant to 2009 data)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_correctional_population_timeline.gif

Here is a worldwide graph:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Incarceration_rates_worldwide.gif

Here is for current numbers and the increase:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_incarceration_timeline-clean.gif

Wiki says this about the costs of incarceration:

“The United States spends an estimated $60 billion each year on corrections.[69] While cost varies from state to state, in 2005, the average cost of incarceration per prisoner in the United states was $23,876. That comes out to $65.41 per day.”

(4 years old)

This is also information from 4 years ago, from the Department of Justice:

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/p05.pdf

More information about “the war on drugs”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_drugs

This futile war on drugs, is only fueled by dogma.  Not facts.  The people support prohibition support the following:

  • The criminal, un-taxed and unregulated black market
  • Cartel violence at the border and in our streets
  • 45 Billion or more per year of tax payer money that is spent on policing and incarcerating non-violent drug offenders
  • The ruined lives of so many who get caught up in the drug war
  • And they are ignoring 35-50 Billion dollars that the USA would receive in tax revenue from legalization

Free Charles Lynch!

April 23rd, 2009 | By Pirate

I found out on the stash today that Charles Lynch’s sentencing got bumped up to today!

Charles Lynch victim of a Marijuana bust

Charles Lynch victim of a Marijuana bust

This man got permits from the city and state, paid his taxes, and operated a legal business in the state of California.

But the feds got jealous and decided to take his pot, and put Charles in prison for being a good citizen and a good business man who obeyed the laws and paid into his community a LOT of taxes!

Here is his story:

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8q7uz_charles-lynch-mariajuana-trial[/dailymotion]

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http://stash.norml.org/breaking-charles-lynch-to-be-sentenced-today-at-3pm/

Write the White House, write the Department of Justice!  This trial is today at 3pm PST!

Join us at the Federal Court in Salt Lake City on 4/24/2009 from 10am to 12 (noon) to protest for state sovereignty based on this case.

The address is:

350 S Main St # 301 Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Chapter Update….

March 6th, 2009 | By slash

This will be our ongoing report from NORML chapters across the nation.

Our first report is from our friend in PA, Slash5city.

Slash went to his first NORML meeting last night…..

When the time came I had much trepidation. This would be my first meeting after all. Will these people judge me?………
… take it easy now… breath….. no fear……… The place was small but inviting, about 12 or so showed up. This was the time to meet the board and the members. I met all types of people who all have a different reason for being there. Medical, me and 2 others. Prison/ law reform. Recreational users of course, and people who were for all drugs to be regulated and legal.
 
The meeting consisted of ……

People passing out fliers for an upcoming felony cultivation case that is bogus. This poor guy is getting rammed! Total police state level of abuse.

Organizing for the GCM . Specifics included dates, times, doling out responsibilities of members for the required jobs in order to pull it off, the series of events that day, route that will be walked, the after party, and all the expected speakers.

The upcoming action of polling by phone for the MMJ legislation coming up this year. Its critical to know who needs the literature and how to pressure them into taking a sensible position. This is a ‘so called war’ and although I cant use guns I’m tired of simply asking and getting nothing. So its gonna take some pressure to get it done. Political pressure.

The members are all active in some way. I have no money or a business that could help. I’m physically disabled so I cant do too much. but I can talk and write letters. I’m willing to go to the capital and tell them about my spinal cord injury and how opiates have nearly ruined my life and at least I have thru cannabis an all natural way to increase appetite, ease pain, and decrease many of my muscle symptoms.

My local chapter has about 130 members that meet 2 times a month so not every one is there all the time. The nice thing is thru this interaction you may find another person in the town you live. I say this because some people travelled 1hr and 1/2 to get there. That’s dedication!  Most towns only have a few members.
Once you have found a new friend it might become easier to survive this world we live in.

 I’ll be going back and I can’t wait to start making a difference! Until again. Peace

Slash

That was awesome Slash! Lots of great info….. I for one, am less intimidated about going to my first meeting.

BTW: We welcome reports from any reform organization!    www.stash.norml.org , MPP, Safer, CC, etc.

If you have something to add to this conversation, please leave comments or Join our Forums and Contest!

Is alcohol less of a drug?

February 16th, 2009 | By Pirate

I have had so many conversations with people that when talking about drug legalization, or drug problems in the USA. I get this reaction.

“I don’t really support drug legalization, or drug usage”.

I think to myself “ok. why”..

We talk. I asked them about their thoughts. I do want to know.

What is going through the back of my head is “do they drink alcohol”?

After talking with them for awhile. We will get to a point where they confess.

They will say “don’t get me wrong, I will have me a few drinks now and then.”

I will ask them something about alcohol statistical data, such as overdoses and car death due to alcohol.

They will say “I know, it sucks when people drink and drive. But I would never do that myself”.

I will ask them. Do you know how many people died as a result of marijuana last year?

They will say something like “I’m sure quite a bit, because smoke is bad for you, but marijuana smoke will kill you faster”..

I will give them very well known (these days) data that last year no one died from the toxic side effects of marijuana. That many influential cancer researchers, including a study done at Harvard says that marijuana smoke is NOT linked to cancer. And that in fact, many studies have shown marijuana helps kill cancer cells while leaving good cells in tact..

Join the petition to reschedule marijuana

Join the petition to reschedule marijuana

They will say “Well, if you legalize it kids will use it”.

I say “The USA has had one of the longest running and strictest marijuana policies in the world, and we have more marijuana users per capita than places where it is legalized like Holland, the Netherlands and Australia”.

This is usually where the conversation gets awkward, and either me or this other party will change the subject or casually move on..

If your interested in learning about the data that I speak of above, you can find the links at the bottom of this note.

I understand that marijuana isn’t for everyone. Neither is alcohol.

So here is my problem with this apathy.

800,000 people were arrested in the USA last year for simple possession of marijuana.

The USA has 25% of the worlds prison population. But.. We only have about 5% of the worlds population. That is insane!!

And we wonder why this nation is broke? Come on, thats just shy of a million people arrested for a victimless crime. There are 100,000s of thousands of people in prison for possessing a plant. A PLANT!
That is not selling, manufacturing, or distributing. That is for merely possessing a plant!

This takes parents away from children, children out of school, college kids lose their financial aid…

The problem with prohibition is that it goes WAY farther than just those who get arrested for it. It hurts the ENTIRE community when honest, hardworking, responsible adults who pay their taxes get arrested for this ‘crime’.

And all of these people that I talk to. Every single one of these types ALL have a plan on how America could recover from our particular situation. But they won’t even think about the 150 Billion dollar per year stimulus that we would receive from legalizing marijuana and taxing it. No way. It’s marijuana after all, the devil’s weed!!

I’ll tell you what it is. It’s refer madness!

Annual Causes of Death in the United States


Tobacco – 435,000

Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity – 365,000

Alcohol – 85,000

Microbial Agents – 75,000

Toxic Agents – 55,000

Motor Vehicle Crashes – 26,347

Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs – 32,000

Suicide – 30,622

Incidents Involving Firearms – 29,000

Homicide – 20,308

Sexual Behaviors – 20,000

All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect -17,000

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Such As Aspirin – 7,600

Marijuana – 0 (zero)

-10’s of thousands of patients received relief and treatment from cannabis last year without fatal side-effects that prescription drugs currently offer.

I say legalize it, regulate it (keep it out of the hands of children), and tax it!

It would be stupid to ignore this any longer!

References:

http://sethgroup.org/

http://www.saferchoice.org/

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/17/health/webmd/main2696726.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJcVr0GLsEA (cannabis fights cancer)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=764ExC7YTqM (Rep Toby Nixon speaking on marijuana topics)

Im of the America that believes “if you don’t like it change it “.

Not of the “if you don’t like it leave it”.

Now, please! I beg you. Don’t hold this against me. It’s just something that I had to vent today.

I appreciate and respect your beliefs. I feel like you are friends. And I just wanted to share something that is important to me, with you. I realize 90% of the people I sent this to do not use marijuana. But this isn’t something that I am trying to influence you to do. I just want to raise awareness to the fact that 20 million people have been arrested for marijuana, and the ‘drug war’ is ineffective. It’s time to do something that works!

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Senate Bill 5615

February 11th, 2009 | By Pirate

Reclassifying possession of forty grams or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a class 2 civil infraction.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=764ExC7YTqM[/youtube]

SB 5476, SB 5413, SB 5615, SB 5516

Ref:

  1. Short clip:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=764ExC7YTqM
  2. Full Hearing :  http://www.tvw.org/media/mediaplayer.cfm?evid=2009020104&TYPE=V&CFID=2049978&CFTOKEN=31311751&bhcp=1
  3. Washington State Legislature Page:  http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?year=2009&bill=5615

Thank you Adam for posting this video and giving us feedback on the drug war front lines!

Adam is our top, and as of late only other poster on the forums.  We really need your help in getting this information injected into the search engines!  The more quality, informational, cannabis website’s the better.

We encourage all of you freedom fighters to get a blog at www.WordPress.com for FREE!!!    You can ask questions in the forums about WordPress, I’ve already started a topic on WordPress.

I humbly suggest everyone link to the main foundations for marijuana law reform.

For example.

www.NORML.org
www.MPP.org

For more see our link section to the right  >>

Lets get this and keep this in the main stream!  Let’s educate people what our mission is all about.

I for one won’t hold back any longer.   They are too broke to build more prisons and the people won’t stand for this drug war any longer!

Thank you again Adam!  Much respect!  Now I HAVE to go to one of these hearings, that’s really cool!  Thanks for introducing me and possibly others to this venue.  It’s awesome to see people exercising their rights! It feels even better when I exercise my own!

xCannabis Forum Contest

xCannabis Forum Posting Contest

Cannabis can save our economy

December 17th, 2008 | By Pirate

Cannabis sativa, scientific drawing.

Image via Wikipedia

There is no better time to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana!

Cannabis CAN save our world.  Our local and global economies will flourish with the benefits of cannabis, and cannabis tax dollars!

How does 50 billion a year effect our economy?  It will definitely help!

When the government stops arresting 800,000 people a year for victimless marijuana possession, they won’t have to keep building new prisons.  They won’t have to pay for extra meals 3 times a day for these inmates in the prisons.  They can move the work from enforcement and punishment of a stupid law, and start REBUILDING our highways, biways and bridges!!

The tax revenue pales in comparison to the money we will save when we no longer have to enforce and punish people for this idiotic law!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raZ8hyhfFfQ[/youtube]