Two New Mexico men became paranoid in the skies for good reason above Norwalk, Ohio when a jet belonging to U.S. border patrol (that happened to be working with Homeland Security) began following their single engine, 1963 Mooney airplane.
Dropping to an altitude so that one of them could dump a duffle bag that contained 20-25 pounds of weed, they figured that the authorities wouldn’t be able to track the pot that landed.
Ryan C. Thomas, 47, of Albuquerque and Greg J. Baca, 47, of Los Alamos were charged each with a second degree felony — one count of trafficking marijuana. The pair might have gotten away with the mid-air drop but a witness had seen the bag land in a field near May Road and State Rt. 598 south of Willard, Ohio and then called the authorities. The plane landed in Norwalk-Huron County Airport where they were greeted by k-9 drug sniffing dogs who immediately alerted the authorities to a suspicious marijuana odor on the plane.Russ
In the parlance of Emeril, Barney Frank just took his support of rational weed policy and kicked it up a notch. Behold the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009. Bam! Introduced last week and co-sponsored by libertarian weed ally Ron Paul, the bill would eliminate federal penalties for possessing up to 100 grams of herb. In addition to eliminating low-level possession charges, the bill would give state governments the option to shuck off all of their respective weed laws and adopt the new federal non-intervention policy.
Rep. Frank is on quite a roll, having recently introduced another bill to protect medical marijuana users from prosecution. Perhaps he figured while he was at it, he may as well try to reform the whole dirty business that is the War on Marijuana.
If this bill seems strangely familiar to you, that is probably because it is a re-introduced version of the same bill from last year, also sponsored by Frank. The last iteration was sent into sub-committee and never saw the light of day again. Will a new Congress and a new President with a new mandate be enough to change its fate this time? In the words of old Barney:
It’s time for the politicians to catch up with the public on this. The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly.
Silly, yes. But is this the year that the US Congress finally dispenses with the silliness? Is it silly to hope so?Russ
Fox News is about the last organization on the planet to willingly affiliate itself with genuine scientific inquiry. Except when it serves Fox’s agenda, that is. That’s why, this week, Fox News gleefully announced a study cleverly entitled, Marijuana Not Only Gets You High, It Damages Your DNA.
NORML’s blog was quick to offer a counterattack, though. They point out that not only are the claims made by the Fox article far stronger than those that the scientists made themselves, there is a huge body of countervailing evidence that has shown that weed not only is far less harmful than tobacco, it actually contains several cancer-preventing and regenerative compounds.
The study itself (cited by Fox News) is almost impossible to penetrate — it’s written entirely in lab-work jargon, obviously never intended for an average audience to interpret. Fortunately, we here at tFS specialize in sniffing-out bunkum and hooey from jargon-based sources.
The entire study that Fox News is so proud of, studies not the effects of cannibis per se, but of a compound called Acetaldehyde. In fact, the first sentence of their study says that:
Acetaldehyde is an ubiquitous genotoxic compound that has been classified as a possible carcinogen to humans.
Did you notice the word “ubiquitous” in there? Yeah, in plain human speak, the study is granting that this Acetaldehyde element is literally everywhere. It’s in ripe fruit, coffee, bread, and virtually all plant matter. So, you’re just as likely to consume Acetaldehyde from car exhaust, or sitting by a campfire, than from smoking marijuana.
And yet, Fox News didn’t title their story, Campfires Can Damage Your DNA. This is because Fox News has no particular agenda against campfires. But it does have an agenda against pot. It’s a good thing that the Fox folks don’t seem to be particularly literate when it comes to science, or they could be a lot more effective at spreading around their propaganda-fueled bullshit.
Meanwhile, way down under, in New Zealand…
Around 5:30pm, during the second reading of the Resource Management (Climate Protection) Amendment Bill in the Parliament building, an unidentified man briefly lit up a marijuana joint and smoked it in the public gallery until he was whisked by security and hauled away. The man then was taken into custody by Wellington police.
Warren Inkster, spokesman for Parliamentary Services, said that there was no resistance and that aside from the building having a no smoking zone and the man breaking drug laws:
Parliamentary codes of conduct surrounding behaviour in the chamber would have been broken.
Wellington police provided no further details and Parliamentary police have been unavailable to comment.Rick
I wouldn’t call it recreational drug use… that makes me sound like I’m going into clubs and using cocaine. [...] I talked about the legalization of marijuana, which I think in the United States it should be. [...] If alcohol is legal, I just think marijuana should be, that’s all.
Fox also mentioned that it’s a toss up between being candid and tight lipped when it comes to interviewing:
I feel like I have the best intentions when I do these interviews and when I speak the way that I do, but it’s unfortunate when journalists choose to knowingly twist the meaning of my words. [...] And that discourages me from being outspoken and honest, but it’s something I want to do. I hate reading or watching bullshit interviews, and watching these things that have been created and presented to you on television, that are fake or manufactured. I am trying not to be one of those.
Regardless of what she says in the interviews, it definitely adds more publicity for Fox and her upcoming film, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, which opens June 19 of this year.Rick
Like the slow but persistent tortoise in the race in Aesop’s Fables, the marijuana decriminalization/legalization movement has been faithfully trudging along for more than two decades. Like the careless hare, cocksure and arrogant, the drug warriors have been sleeping at the tree, not overly concerned about crossing the finish line — underestimating the tortoise.
A veteran of the movement, Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance said:
This is the first time I feel like the wind is at my back and not in my face.
Even people within law enforcement have begun to question the war on drugs. Norm Stamper, a former Seattle Police Chief, an active member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) said:
For the most part, what we’ve seen over the past 20 years has been incremental. [...] What we’ve seen in the past six months is an explosion of activity, fresh thinking, bold statements and penetrating questions.
More and more politicians are beginning to seriously question the drug war. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the issue of legalization needs to be discussed, while former world leaders from Mexico and South America have formed an organization and said that the only way to stop the drug violence crossing borders is to legalize.
More and more states are pursuing a change in their laws that would decriminalize pot, as well as contemplating bills that would allow medical marijuana for registered patients. Congress, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, (D-Ohio) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va) are among several lawmakers that recognize the failed U.S. drug policies.
Sen. Jim Webb said:
Nothing should be off the table.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, during a phone interview commented on the fact of two Presidents of the United States have admitted to smoking marijuana:
Apparently that didn’t stop them from achieving their goals in life. [...] We need to come at this from a point of science and research and not from mythologies or fears.
When lawmakers speak with the drug warriors, they are now more educated on the issue and actually question their tactics and claims. Rep. Steve Cohen, (D-Tenn) grilled FBI Director Robert Mueller at a House hearing last month. When asked about lives being lost to marijuana, Mueller was stumped.
Rep. Steve Cohen said:
Exactly. You can’t, because that hasn’t happened. [...] Is there some time we’re going to see that we ought to prioritize meth, crack, cocaine and heroin, and deal with the drugs that the American culture is really being affected by?
The citizens of this country have voiced their opinions through national polls and the results are disconcerting to the drug warriors, showing that half the American Public is behind legalizing marijuana. Economic experts like, Jeffrey Miron, an economist at Harvard University, have extensively studied the cost and effect of the drug war, claiming that at least $7.7 billion would be saved with law enforcement costs. Additionally, if marijuana was regulated and taxed like alcohol, it could potentially generate more than $6 billion in revenue.
According to a DEA document:
Legalization of marijuana, no matter how it begins, will come at the expense of our children and public safety. [...] It will create dependency and treatment issues, and open the door to use of other drugs, impaired health, delinquent behavior, and drugged drivers.
Bruce Mirken, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project disagrees:
The notion that we have to keep something completely banned for adults to keep it away from kids doesn’t hold up.
Now in a day and age where once strong American corporations are now declaring bankruptcy and affecting the national economy in a negative impact, can we afford not to pursue every avenue of generating much needed revenue for this country and eliminating the sheer number of incarcerations of non-violent offenders, caused by the war on drugs?
Thomas Jefferson once said:
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
The fact that more and more prominent people within politics and the marijuana movement are speaking up and denouncing the myths and boldfaced lies of the drug war, shows that the people are beginning to shift gears. People have gone from fearing the repercussions from the government to seeing the rewards just on the horizon. It’s just a matter of time before the government will fear its people, and true liberty and the pursuit of happiness is attained.
Rubin was arrested three years ago for running a medical marijuana dispensary through the church, Temple 420, and sentenced to five years in prison. He hasn’t served any time, with his case on appeal and moving through the courts and possibly headed to the highest court in the nation, the Supreme Court. According to Rubin, the city of Los Angeles has been spending millions in trying to bring him down.
This past weekend, Rubin attended the world’s largest marijuana convention, THC Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, an event that was funded by Rubin’s family. Rubin has long since claimed that the owner of Apothecary Travel, Bret Bouge and one of the winners of the Cannabis Cup have been working with law enforcement in an effort to entrap him and have him sent to jail.
For the two days of the event, everything was normal, Rubin preached and was there for his supporters and fans of his aspiring acting career. Bouge made an appearance and began harrassing Rubin’s wife, “Mrs. X”.
From the stage I saw Bouge acting in a hostile manner with his face less than three inches from my wife’s. I wanted to jump off stage and deal with it, but made a commitment to Oaksterdam to be positive while on their stage. [...] If I have a problem or get in any trouble I go to jail for five years because I am still on probation, so I believe Bouge was there to create a problem, but we just walked away from him.
Lead singer of Los Marijuanos, Rafael “Pony Boy” Ochoa stated:
Todd McCormick, one of the event organizers, was kicking Bouge out of the event until he offered to buy a booth for $1,500 just hours before the event was over.
According to Rubin, Bouge didn’t open his booth nor did he appear to be there to promote his company. Rubin believes that Bouge was only there to cause a scene that might lead to his arrest — right before a hearing scheduled for this month that will look into the seizure of his life savings.
Unfortunately, Judge Leslie Ann Swain will be assigned to the case, the same judge that signed Rubin’s arrest warrant and refused to recognize Rubin being a Pastor. In fact, at Rubin’s trial, the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights could not be mentioned as not to “confuse the jury” — coincidentally the same thing that happened in the Charles Lynch trial.
The irony behind this case is the fact that Rubin has since opened up another medical marijuana dispensary, The Beverly Hills Green Cross, another church that distributes medical marijuana. On May 20th, Rubin showed the judge the minute order that gave him permission to do again exactly what he was convicted for and what caused the seizure of his family’s life savings.
Rubin’s next court date is June 25th. There, his attorney, plans to solicit the court to have the money returned that was seized during Rubin’s first arrest. It seems as if they have plenty of ammunition now to clear Rubin’s name, more so than they did three years ago. The fact that Rubin has opened up another medical marijuana dispensary and has yet to serve any time from being convicted of operating a medical marijuana dispensary three years ago, will only add fuel to the fire.Rick
Although the Marijuana Reform Bill HR 2835 that was introduced by Barney Frank into Congress, has hopes to do something about the current state of chaos surrounding marijuana, there are people that believe it’s just another veil to fuel the deception of the war on drugs. MinistryOfTruth, at the Daily Kos breaks it down.
- The Bill seeks to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I (which are drugs that have NO medicinal value) to a Schedule II (which are drugs deemed to have some medicinal value) and have the “create a regulatory framework for the FDA to begin a drug approval process for marijuana.” MinistryOfTruth blames prohibition and the cost of the war on drugs which led to our chasing of our proverbial tail. There are some experts that believe more money can be saved and gained from legalization.
- The DOJ left a message for Barney Frank via their website, saying that Marinol was an excepted accepted use of medical marijuana, a synthetic THC. What MinistryOfTruth says about the big pharma companies and drug sources from around the world is true. Why haven’t they been able to slow the heroin and opium trade?
- H.R. 2835 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. MinistryOfTruth makes a good point. Before Obama said marijuana couldn’t “grow the economy”. Now all of a sudden a panel is meeting to discuss the potential of it having an impact on commerce?
The only reason they are going through the motions of reform is because of pressure. Pressure from the American public — popping their heads out of the sand and seeing what is really going on with our country and prepared and ready to do something about it.