Articles Tagged: State

Law makers working on decriminalizing possession of marijuana

June 18th, 2009 | By Pirate

I try to keep up with major marijuana news, so I often visit NORML and CannabisCulture.

Right now a bi-partisan bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults in being reintroduced:

From NORML:

“Washington, DC: Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, along with co-sponsors Ron Paul (R-TX); Maurice Hinchey (D-NY); Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA); and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), will reintroduce legislation today to limit the federal government’s authority to arrest and prosecute minor marijuana offenders.”

This bill would potentially save 860,000 lives being ruined each year for getting charged with possession of a victimless crime.
It would stand to end spending on enforcing penalties for a victimless crime, to the tune of 45 BILLION dollars per year.
It would also give room to let states tax and regulate marijuana, which would put it in a controlled liquor store type of environment, and create tax revenue that would potentially amount to 32 Billion dollars per year.

Write your congress reps and tell them to support this bill!  NORML makes it very easy to get this to your congress representatives by using the link below.  (Thanks NORML!)

http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=13568661

See more at this video on HR 2835

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPLH-Q41PJA[/youtube]

Also see this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW-KvGe6XuI by Reverend Ryan

When a town in Utah does something very noble!

June 18th, 2009 | By Pirate

This is history by about 8 years now, but back in 2001 the little town of 400 people in Utah named “Big Water” passed an ordinance that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana to a $10 fine (under 1 oz), and possession of paraphernalia a $5 fine.

The motive behind this says mayor Willie Marshall “Our ordinance made justice affordable for everybody,” said Marshall. “Let the punishment fit the crime.”

Under Utah law, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, as well as a six-month drivers license suspension. Under state law, paraphernalia possession nets the same maximum six months and $1,000. According to a newspaper article about this situation that can be found at this link:  http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/215/bigwater.shtml

I agree with Mayor Willie Marshall, and even though I think a $10 fine is too much for a victimless crime, I believe his intentions were in the right place, and I think you will find the city of Denver Colorado agrees, where it is legal (no fines) for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

Ruining people’s life forever, putting a misdemeanor on their record which denies them the ability for scholarships, military service, working at certain jobs, etc..  for a victimless crime is insane.  A $1000 fine for possessing a plant that has never killed anyone in all of history?
This would be like making drinking from a drinking fountain a misdemeanor punishable with jail time and a $1000 fine.  Based on harm, and social impact, marijuana is no more of a threat than drinking water!

Bravo to this courageous mayor and this courageous city council.  It’s only too bad that these ordinances were later repealed, and that at least one officer is recorded and reprimended for threatening the city council members.

Utah Highway Patrol Officer Nathan Giles blew up at local officials, Marshall said, in an account whose broad contours were confirmed by regional Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Lynn McAfee. “Once the police heard about this, they hit the ceiling, the Kane County sheriff and the Highway Patrol were just enraged,” said Marshall. “They do a lot of intimidating people into letting them search their cars. But Officer Nathan Giles was especially bent out of shape. He came in and yelled at the town clerk. ‘Who’s the dope-smoking son of a bitch who wrote this ordinance?’ Giles yelled. And then he made threats. ‘All hell is going to break loose in Big Water,’ he told her,” Marshall said.

Two weeks after the ordinance passed, UHP started harassing members of the entire town of Big Water:

On December 7, two weeks after the ordinance was passed, the town was hit with an “enforcement blitz” by Highway Patrol and Kane County Sheriff’s officers. “They were ticketing everyone for anything,” said Marshall. “They had a half dozen Highway Patrol cars out there pulling people over for no seat belt, failure to signal, anything they could think of.”

Which was confirmed by Lt. McAfee of the Utah Highway Patrol.

But this wasn’t the end of it, and as you guessed, this all has to do with police funding and getting revenue from these so-called crimes.

But Giles wasn’t done. “Then he went over to the water board office, where one of the council members works, while on-duty and in uniform and started arguing with her,” Marshall said, “telling her the ordinance was unconstitutional, that we had to repeal it, that the Highway Patrol could just stop writing tickets in our town, basically threatening to cut off a source of town funding. Not that we’re a speed trap,” Marshall quickly added. “Giles was very threatening and his behavior was very inappropriate.”


This is Utah life under a huge microscope in relation to the ‘drug war’.  No drug war equals no police funding.  It’s not about harm reduction, it’s about revenue!

This isn’t a war on drugs, this is a war on the American people!

Another Reference from a local newspaper:  http://archive.deseretnews.com/archive/880574/Big-Water-axes-controversial-laws.html

Mormons are responsible for the first marijuana prohibition?

June 17th, 2009 | By Pirate

This is a long and complicated history, but it appears that Utah is responsible for the first prohibition against marijuana in the USA!

I guess it figures, since they prohibit just about everything else.  Coffee (or “hot drink” as it is written), alcohol, tobacco (even though they used to have spittoons in their temples), and a hand full of other common substances.


xCannabis in the Zion Curtain

xCannabis in the Zion Curtain


Read this history, this was the first that I’ve ever read about it.  Marijuana prohibition in the USA started with Mormons in Utah in the year of 1915.

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm

BTW-  When I say Mormon’s, I really mean the Utah State legislature in that year.  Which was entirely made up of Mormon’s.

See this guy’s video on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a2R5CFTm38

Freedom of Religion and Freedom from Religion

June 16th, 2009 | By Pirate

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpQOCvthw-o[/youtube]

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I can’t help but agree with what this man said in his speech, about God being at the core of the founding and history and presence of our country.
I will note, that although we have these values at our core, we also have the freedom of religion, which I believe is also a freedom FROM religion.
This religion or that religion should not be forced on anyone, nor should we have a state sponsored religion by the standards of our constitution, in other words, our nation is not a theocracy. It is a nation that has been blessed by the Almighty Lord God. But it is not a nation founded on the principle of “our way or the highway”..

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

Why fight for legalization? Why be so vocal about your politics?

June 6th, 2009 | By Pirate

I made this video after having some discussions on Facebook with a State Representative from Utah, and with a few friends and family over the last week.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKFYZMTc-8A[/youtube]

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I am appauled how people can be so apathetic in our current crises.  How can people just sit around and watch our nation fall to pieces?

I can not sit around and not say anything!

Cannabis in the Zion Curtain

Cannabis in the Zion Curtain

This is part of the conversation that I had with Brad Daw (State Representative of Utah’s 45th district)

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

Here is where they try to get my account taken away on Facebook:

http://www.vimeo.com/5026175

THIS IS WHY I DO xCANNABIS!

Another Minister abused by the system for a victimless “crime”

June 2nd, 2009 | By Pirate

I am sad to say that after looking for ministers to ally with in Idaho, that I found one but he will be going to jail for merely posseessing a harmless plant that he used for his religious ceremonies.

Watch as Shawn Fluewelling gets his 1st Amendment rights violated.  (sorry to show such a painful event, but it’s necessary)

Shawn Fluewelling

Shawn Fluewelling

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkf4dF4jxkY[/youtube]

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkf4dF4jxkY

This is such an injustice!

It is obvious that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 that using cannabis as a sacrament is protected by the first amendment of our constitution, as well as the support act just mentioned that was inducted into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton!

Native Americans use peyote as a religious practice legally with similar provisions as protected by the First Amendment and by the RFRA(1993)

Waiver as in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418, 432-433 (2006):
The Act contains a provision authorizing the Attorney General to “waive the requirement for registration of certain manufacturers, distributors, or dispensers if he finds it consistent with the public health and safety.” 21 U.S.C. §822(d). The fact that the Act itself contemplates that exempting certain people from its requirements would be “consistent with the public health and safety” indicates that congressional findings with respect to Schedule I substances should not carry the determinative weight, for RFRA purposes, that the Government would ascribe to them.
Idaho Statutes Article III 37-2716 Registration Requirements d)
(d) The board may waive by rule the requirement for registration of certain manufacturers, distributors, or dispensers if it finds it consistent with the public health and safety.2) Exemption for Alcohol and Tobacco
3) Application process
4) Exemption for Ultimate user
5) Exemption for Officers
6) Process to move substances from schedule to schedule

7) Federal peyote law unchallenged by the state of Idaho
42 U.S.C. § 1996a:
(b) Use, possession, or transportation of peyote.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any State.

(taken from the THC-Ministry forum)

See Aaron Russo speak about how our “free” “republic”  has become as socialistic democracy (not so free).  Our constitution is being deluded and destroyed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKTeztIAFZI&videos=lA6Zq5texNw&playnext_from=TL&playnext=1

Kudos To The Supreme Court

May 20th, 2009 | By Michael

This is the first report I’ve received of a court system denying a case to outlaw medical marijuana.

In California, two counties, San Diego and San Bernardino, wished to exclude themselves from the law requiring them to provide citizens with medical marijuana cards.  Their case stated that the medical marijuana law in California was preempted by the federal law banning the substance.  The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, thereby ending the appeals process.

A decision in the Supreme Court would have decided whether states can legalize medical marijuana while it is still illegal on a federal level.  Wasn’t there something in the constitution that gave us that right? hmm.  Finally it’s the prohibitionists that are being shut down.

Marijuana has become an integral part of every states political standpoint, and fortunately our voices are slowly spreading across the nation.  State by state, we’re taking over and no one can stop us because state by state, people are realizing the ignorance of enforcing laws against marijuana use.  Science is finally beginning to outweigh propaganda.

Freedom of Relgion, and freedom of religious sacrament

May 15th, 2009 | By Pirate

For many years now I have been a devout follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I have dedicated my time and resources to preach the gospel and to take my part in the Great Commission of Christ.  In 1999 I gave my life to Christ as a result of a unique, personal spiritual experience that I had while praying on the side of the road in Deer Park WA.  In 2001 I wrote my biography which was inspired by this spiritual awakening.   I was inspired to write a lot of poetry after that, and had it published on Poetry.com in hopes to inspire others.

I love to write and I love to inspire others.  But what I have enjoyed most is serving others.  After giving my life to Christ, I volunteered for a number of homeless ministries that I was once a regular client of while I was homeless.  I volunteered with these ministries because of how much people blessed me while I was homeless.  I wanted to inspired other clients of these ministries and show them the love that Christ and His church showed me.  I completed several trainings, and I served whenever I was able.  It has been a great blessing to me to be able to serve others.

In September of 2002, I spoke at a Southern Baptist convention about the loss of my brother, who lived in the most depressed state in the nation, Utah.   My brother’s death was a result of depression, and anti-depressant medication that he was prescribed, and I had a burden on my heart to try to reach those who were hurting, and who couldn’t speak out about it because of the fear of rejection by the Utah culture.  I wanted to be the mouth piece for those who couldn’t speak, like my 16 year old brother who lays in a grave in Spanish Fork Utah, completely voiceless now.

Now I have another burden on my heart, which is for the cannabis plant which I enjoy as a religious sacrament.  I feel that our freedom of religion in this country has been hijacked by the government and the DEA.  I believe that those of us who use cannabis as a sacrament as Moses and Jesus did in the days of old are persecuted unjustly and that our civil rights get violated when we are charged with crimes in relationship to our holy sacrament, cannabis.

Gensis 1:29

Gensis 1:29

I have heard it from religious folks and nonreligious folks that they do not believe cannabis was used by Biblical prophets.   They laugh at the thought of it.
But this is not uncommon, humanity has a knack for ignorance and I am no exception.  When I first gave my life to Christ, I gave up using cannabis for 7 years.

I had given up cannabis until I developed a vesicular anomaly that causes my sever headaches called cluster headaches that come on strong and fast, and that no prescription medicine has been able to relieve in anyway.  With these headaches I sometimes go blind, and I get a loud ringing in my ear.  It completely destroys my senses for about 30 minutes and the pain brings tears to my eyes.  One toke off a spliff instantly relieves this pain and this drastic symptoms, with no ill side-effects.

I tried Imitrex and Midrine before trying cannabis and all that those medicines did was make me feel ill and give me nose bleeds.
When this problem started we lived in Washington state which has passed many decriminalization measures for marijuana, and I tried some.   Instant relief as I described.  It was amazing, no nose bleeds, no stomach aches, no yucky feeling, nothing.  I just felt better, and happier.  The only real side effect that could be considered negative, was I felt hungry and got what people call “the munchies”.   I was sold, and start the process to get my medical marijuana card in Wa.

After that I started questioning whether this would conflict with my faith, and what I found was amazing.  Moses used cannabis in his anointing oil.  This is found in non-marijuana using Rabbi’s writings.  I have wrote about this several times before on this blog.

http://xcannabis.com/2008/09/cannabis-in-the-ancient-annointing-oil-moses-to-jesus/

Exodus 30:23 Fragrant Cane, or Cane of Bosom, or Sweet Cane is translated in several Hebrew Dictionaries as “Cannabis”.

See Roger Christy from the THC Ministry (Hawaii)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaiKSWKzjdc

I have also spoke about Jesus and His resistance to state and religious laws which forbid certain food and certain eating practices:

http://xcannabis.com/2008/09/cannabis-and-religion-2/

Now what I have found recently is quite amazing.

See this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xvf42scU2U

And read this about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993

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

Our religious rights are protected!

The NJWeedman proved this when he practiced his religious sacrament on federal property in New Jersey.  He was arrested, he was man-handled, he weed was taken.  But the charges got over turned.  Not once, but 3 times!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaCw1j2RqxA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrGah9enZRQ

If you are a Christian, Jew or Hindu the use of cannabis your religion goes back thousands of years!

Ever wonder why Indians can use Peyote but no one else can?  Because it’s a religious sacrament.

Is Idaho ready to legalize marijuana?

May 14th, 2009 | By Pirate

On May 13th in the “Boise Weekly” there was an article ran about the 300 person crowd at the state capitol for the “Global Marijuana March”.

Ref:  http://www.boiseweekly.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A323768

Legalizing marijuana in Idaho

Legalizing marijuana in Idaho

This news couldn’t be better.  I only wish that I had been there.  What an inspiring and wonderful event that I will regret missing for the rest of my days I imagine.

I have been saying that Idaho will legalize marijuana next, becoming the 14th state that legalizes marijuana in some way.  But I think I am wrong about that, because Missouri will be next it looks like.   But we have a proposal for a 2010 bill from an Idaho representative:

Here are a few clips from the “Boise Weekly”:

Then Ryan Davidson, a “Ron Paul Republican” and marijuana activist from Garden City, announced through the bullhorn that Moscow Rep. Tom Trail plans to introduce a medical marijuana bill next year.

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Since 1996, voters have favored ballot initiatives removing criminal penalties for growing or possessing medical marijuana in Alaska, California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. State legislators in Hawaii, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont have passed medical marijuana laws. On Nov. 4, Michigan became the 13th medical marijuana state and Massachusetts’ voters decriminalized personal possession.

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Idaho Falls

In an article found in the Washington Post, the current White House drug czar (former police chief of Seattle Norm Kerlikowske) explains that the White House will be changing the current US drug policy to a harm reduction policy instead of a punish and destroy the product policy.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124225891527617397.html

I am amazed and proud of the brave citizens who took to the streets on May 2nd in Boise:

The Worldwide Marijuana March drew more than 300 demonstrators to downtown Boise on Saturday, May 2. Offering peace signs and garnering many supportive car honks, the marchers moved slowly under scattered showers along Capitol Boulevard to the front lawn of the Idaho Legislature.

On some of the local blogs that I go to, I have been told that Idaho isn’t supportive of marijuana legalization.  But after considering how Hailey Idaho has twice legalized marijuana (not just medical, but recreational as well), and how this proposal has been through the capitol a few times, and seeing how four of our neighors on Idaho’s border have legalized marijuana in one way or another.  I think legalization can be clearly viewed on our horizon!

Join NORML and lets start an Idaho NORML chapter!     www.NORML.org

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