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We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die.
What’s worse is that it’s not even rare — more than 2,500 people who were sentenced as kids will spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Juwan is one of them. He was a skinny 16-year-old kid when he was arrested after he saw a companion kill a pizza deliveryman. The shooter was never convicted, but because Juwan was present and had a gun, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Without the possibility of parole, Juwan will never have a second chance for rehabilitation.
Just one year before Juwan was sentenced, the Supreme Court decided that mandatory juvenile life without parole was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.
The problem is — the decision left gaping loopholes and didn’t ban the sentence outright, meaning that Juwan and other children became victims of poor timing and inadequate policy implementation. While six states have moved to ban the practice, this barbaric punishment is still perfectly legal in 44 states.
But the Department of Justice has the power to close some of these loopholes and set the standard on the federal level. By providing policy guidelines for U.S. attorneys, the DOJ can ensure that judges are empowered to use discretion and give appropriate sentences based on unique circumstances.
Attorney General Eric Holder has already endorsed proposals that limit life without parole sentences for non-violent drug offenders. If he hears from thousands of us who support criminal justice reform, he can provide the tools needed to limit juvenile life without parole sentences.
It’s time that we give kids like Juwan a second chance at life.
The case to ban fracking grows stronger every day. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid — a mix of water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer — are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases extra oil and gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.
But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that are turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it.
Why a Ban? Can Regulations Make Fracking Safe?
Ban Fracking in Your Area
No. Fracking is inherently unsafe and we cannot rely on regulation to protect communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our federal decision makers (the exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act is often referred to as the Cheney or Halliburton Loophole, because it was negotiated by then-Vice President Dick Cheney with Congress in 2005). Plus, the industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and even bringing lawsuits to stop them from being implemented. That’s why fracking can’t be made safe through government oversight or regulations. An all out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities.
- How much do you know about fracking? Take our quiz!
- Get the facts about fracking and why we need a ban in our Ban Fracking Now fact sheet.
- Learn how free trade agreements could fast track fracking.
- Read the Issue Brief: Fracking Colorado: Illusory Benefits, Hidden Costs
- Read the Report: U.S. Energy Insecurity: Why Fracking for Oil and Natural Gas Is a False Solution
- Read the Report: Exposing the Oil and Gas Industry’s False Jobs Promise for Shale Gas Development
- How do climate change, fracking and a global water crisis go hand-in-hand?
- Watch our video
- Learn how fracking affects our nation’s food system
- Why is fracking contributing to the global water crisis?
- How is the industry lying about the economic benefits of fracking?
- Undermining Local Democracy: Fast Track, the TPP and Your Community December 2, 2013
- Ban Fracking Now! October 17, 2013
- Frackademia May 28, 2013
- Fracking: The New Global Water Crisis May 7, 2013
- Natural Gas Pipelines: Problems From Beginning to End January 23, 2013
I do not want to be a politician, nor a lawyer. However, at this point I do wish I had a Law degree!
But I do not want to be put into a position where I can no longer say what I feel is right, but must succumb to the "for the greater good of the people" clause which they use in order to be able to lie to us with a straight face.
I originally came to the USMJParty in 2005 as the Kentucky Chair and Website Administrator. In 2010 I accepted VP of USMJParty although an official Charter was never set up.
In 2011 I appointed William A. Chengelis to Head Chair and Colorado and I resigned the VP position but continued on as Kentucky Chair and help keep up the websites for Kentucky and USMJParty.
Richard Rawlings who was the former Head Chair/President had resigned due to illness, but was still the owner of all of the Websites for the "Party".
Upon his death in February of 2013 I was left with the websites and decided to act as the "Organizer" and Kentucky Chair until such time as the USMJParty sets up an Official Charter and can elect a permanent Head Chairperson.
As Organizer of the U.S. Marijuana Party I can focus on leading the masses thru education and information and get their attention on at least one of the worst Human Rights abuses I have seen in my lifetime with the scope and magnitude of the lies that were spread across virtually the entire GLOBE concerning Cannabis Medications and Hemp, as well as Cannabis for recreational use…
The U.S. Marijuana Party (USMJP) is a "Anti-Prohibition – Repeal and Nullify" Party with regard to Cannabis/Hemp Laws (vs. Legalization – which "leaves" the plant under the total control of the Government and us without any inherit rights to the plant at all). Effectively it is a Pharmaceutical takeover of the plant.
WE ARE MOST IMPORTANTLY A HUMAN RIGHTS PARTY. We need educated – (self-taught is always acceptable), informed, and politically motivated people to run for office under the USMJP. We also need dedicated Chair People and others to set up State Chapters. It is only YOU that can help save our Earth and bring it to peace by petition, voting rights, running for office and activism in whatever form. We are Constitutionalists who believe in adhering to the "Civil Rights" which we were given by the Forefathers of our Country. All of these are important: Human Rights, Civil Rights, Constitutional Rights, Religious Rights, PATIENTS Rights, and many more issues as well, including but not limited to: Global Warming, All other Ecological concerns, Coal Fly Ash and ponds, Fracking, GMO’s and their usage. Human Trafficking, Prison abuse, Children’s Rights, 1st and 2nd Amendment Rights, etc., (It goes on and on…)
After all, as Gatewood Galbraith once said: "There are only two ways to win a war. One is politically and the other to take it to the streets". I damn sure hope the streets isn’t where we end up….
Peace and Prayers to You All!
This petition will be delivered to: Missouri, Gov. Jeremiah Nixon
Petition by Chris Mizanskey Sedalia, MO
My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a "three strikes" mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.
Dad’s first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day. His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father’s final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence.
My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have "paid their debts" and left – sometimes just to return a few months later.
My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents – my grandparents – have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back.
Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.
Gov. Jeremiah Nixon, Missouri
Jeff Mizanskey is a non-violent, marijuana-only offender who has spent the last 20 years in a Missouri prison. He has been sentenced to be there for the rest of his life, and he has no opportunity for parole. The only hope he has to ever to become a working member of society or to hold his grandchildren in his hands is for you to grant him clemency.
His sentence was imposed because of the Prior and Persistent Drug Offender sentencing structure which requires life in prison without parole for his three felony marijuana-only offenses.
Jeff Mizanskey has never committed violence and is most certainly a model prisoner. For 20 years he has sat behind bars, only to watch as rapists and murders come and go and sometimes come back again. Meanwhile the State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000 annually to house him – over $400,000 has been spent so far.
On February 3, 2011, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr., delivered his final State of the Judiciary address to the Missouri General Assembly. In that speech, Chief Justice Price lambasted Missouri’s "three strikes" drug-sentencing laws as enormously costly and ineffective. "Punishment," Price said, "is a necessary part of our criminal justice system. But our real goal for nonviolent offenders is to teach them their lesson so they can become productive law-abiding members of our society. The goal is not to lock them into a life of crime, to make them permanent wards of the state."
Jeff Mizanskey has been punished for 20 years. He has learned his lesson and wants to become a productive, law-abiding member of our society. The goal Price mentions has been more than reached, and it is time to give Jeff back his life.
On July 6, 2012, you signed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which was intended to reduce our prison population, save the state money, and ensure that punishments are proportional to violations for non-violent offenders. While this has done a great deal of good for so many Missourians, Jeff’s status has remained unchanged.
In October 2013, Gallup released a poll showing 58% of Americans support marijuana legalization. 58% of Americans recognize the principle that imprisoning Jeff Mizanskey for the rest of his life has no net positive social benefit.
In the spirit of the Justice Reinvestment Act and in the spirit of justice itself, please grant clemency to Jeff Mizanskey today. Please pardon Jeff Mizanskey so that he does not die in prison just for marijuana.
The mission of Special Olympics Ohio is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities by giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those special mental and physical limitations.
(FOLLOW THE LINK ABOVE TO DONATE TO MICHAEL OR READ MORE ABOUT IT)
“I am jumping as a representative of Central Ohio NORML and the Ohio Rights Group
and I’m out to prove that marijuana users are active, productive members of the
community and it would be amazing if people could show their support.”
Support Michael Revercomb-Hickman by donating to a wonderful charity cause. Whether it be $5 or $100
any and all donations will be highly appreciated. He will be participating in the 2014 polar plunge.
Proceeds go to the 2014 special Olympics. Thanks in advance!
*The U.S. Marijuana Party and Kentucky Marijuana Party endorses Michael’s efforts and applauds him for his devotion.
By Karen Weise January 09, 2014
If ever a hippie dream existed, it would probably look something like what’s being proposed in Washington by Democratic State Senator Bob Hasegawa. He wants to open a state-run bank specifically to serve Washington’s newly legal marijuana industry. The proposal would solve two real problems: Pot businesses would no longer be trapped in an all-cash economy thanks to federal laws that prohibit banks from handling drug money, and the state would send less money to Wall Street.
There’s just one state-run bank in the country: the Bank of North Dakota. It uses the revenue collected through taxes and other government income to provide capital for low-interest loans to state residents, including students, homeowners, and farmers. The bank’s operations return millions to the state’s coffers. (It’s worth noting that the bank has nothing to do with pot.)
As the financial crisis caused a credit crunch for borrowers, some citizens and states themselves started looking to North Dakota as a model of how to keep lending afloat. “After the banking crisis in 2008, some farmers came to me from eastern Washington, literally in tears, saying their credit was being cut off,” Hasegawa says.
Heather Morton, who tracks financial regulation at the National Conference of State Legislatures, found bills in six state legislatures in 2010 related to the creation of state-run banks. Interest swelled as the economy continued to struggle and the Occupy Wall Street movement took up the idea of state banks as an alternative to Wall Street. By 2011 the number of states with bills contemplating the creation of their own banks hit 15, according to Morton’s research, before legislation eventually tapered off last year as the economy improved.
In Washington, one of eight states in which legislation was put forward in 2013, the state-banking push predates the advent of a legal marijuana retail sector. Hasegawa’s bill, which he has sponsored for several years, gained support from 44 out of 98 lawmakers in 2012 but was killed in the banking committee. Each year, Hasegawa tinkers with the legislation in response to opponents, who include the state’s banking community, bond brokers, and the state treasurer. The critics argue that the effort is too risky and would diminish competition, among other things. (After lengthy study, a formal commission in Massachusetts recommended against creating a bank there, saying the effort would be more capital-intensive than it’s worth.)
After voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in Washington last year, however, Hasegawa saw a new opening. Marijuana businesses have had to resort to largely operating in cash and have been agitating for federal authorities to give banks permission to handle pot accounts. Because pot isn’t legal at the national level, federal money-laundering laws prevent financial institutions from handing marijuana-related money.
Hasegawa has submitted a new bill for the 2014 legislative session that would create a state-run bank as the sole depository for the state’s marijuana businesses. Passage of the bill, which Hasegawa knows is a long shot, would provide “a foot in the door” to a broader state-run bank. But even if it fails, the state senator still sees an upside: “It has drawn the debate away from the detractors of the other arguments.” Washington’s legislative session opens on Jan. 13, and recreational sales in the state are expected to start this spring.
Opposition has now “focused on the illegality of marijuana itself,” Hasegawa says, “which makes me think a lot of their other arguments are really just smoke screens.”
After a chemical spilled into the Elk River in Charleston, W. Virginia, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered 100,000 customers of West Virginia American Water: Do not drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes with tap water.
By John Raby, Associated Press / January 10, 2014
Charleston, W. Va.
Schools and restaurants closed, grocery stores sold out of bottled water, and state legislators who had just started their session canceled the day’s business after a chemical spill in the Elk River in Charleston shut down much of the city and surrounding counties even as the cause and extent of the incident remained unclear.
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The federal government joined the state early Friday in declaring a disaster, and the West Virginia National Guard planned to distribute bottled drinking water to emergency services agencies in the nine affected counties. About 100,000 water customers, or 300,000 people total, were affected, state officials said they reported in requesting the federal declaration.
Shortly after the Thursday spill from Freedom Industries hit the river and a nearby treatment plant, a licorice-like smell enveloped parts of the city, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued an order to customer of West Virginia American Water: Do not drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes with tap water.
The chemical, a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process, leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries and overran a containment area. Officials from Freedom, a manufacturer of chemicals for the mining, steel, and cement industries, hadn’t commented since the spill, but a woman who answered the phone at the company said it would issue a statement later Friday.
Other officials say the orders were issued as a precaution, as they were still not sure exactly what hazard the spill posed to residents. It also was not immediately clear how much of the chemical spilled into the river and at what concentration.
"I don’t know if the water is not safe," water company president Jeff McIntyre said. "Until we get out and flush the actual system and do more testing, we can’t say how long this (advisory) will last at this time."
McIntyre said the chemical isn’t lethal in its strongest form. Kanawha County emergency officials said the chemical is called 4-methylcyclohexane methanol.
According to a fact sheet from Fisher Scientific, the chemical is harmful if swallowed — and could be so if inhaled — and causes eye and skin irritation.
The emergency declaration involves customers in all or parts of the counties of Kanawha, Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane. State Department of Education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro said schools in at least five of the counties will be closed.
The smell from the spill — similar to licorice or cough syrup — was especially strong at the Charleston Marriott hotel a few blocks from the Elk River, which flows into the Kanawha River in downtown Charleston. The Marriott shut off all water to rooms, and then turned it back on so guests could flush toilets. Each guest was given two 16.9-ounce bottles of spring water upon returning to the hotel.
Even as the National Guard made plans to mobilize at an air base at Charleston’s Yeager Airport, many people — told to use water only for flushing toilets — weren’t waiting for outside help.
Once word got out about the governor’s declaration Thursday, customers stripped store shelves in many areas of items such as bottled water, paper cups and bowls. As many as 50 customers had lined up to buy water at a convenience store near the state Capitol in Charleston.
"It was chaos, that’s what it was," cashier Danny Cardwell said.
Tomblin said the advisory also extends to restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and other establishments that use tap water.
Early Friday, Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina said he wasn’t aware of any hospitals closing and that area medical centers "seemed to have adequate water supply, at least for the short term."
At the Little India restaurant in Charleston, about 12 customers were asked to leave when bar manager Bill LaCourse learned about the shutdown notice.
Karlee Bolen, 16, of Charleston, said her family, including her parents, two sisters and brother, were considering the possibility of heading to her grandmother’s home in Braxton County, where tap water was unaffected, an hour to the northeast.
"I kind of want to shower and brush my teeth," she said.
RECOMMENDED: 10 organizations that protect the environment
Associated Press writers Brendan Farrington and Jonathan Mattise contributed to this report.
Roland A. Duby
There are a lot of scammers out there trying to take your money and not deliver the product. it is sad that so many people see this as a way to defraud the sick and it is sad to see so many pot activist, who are treating this oil as a business opportunity when the actual truth this is not a business it is a PARADIGM SHIFT.
The bible talks of the tree of life in revelations 22:2 And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. I believe this plant is the tree of life and I have for a long time. Cannabis is the plant of renown in Ezekiel 34:29 “And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.”
I think this is the potheads rising up and no longer being shunned and thought of as heathens.
So this is not a business. this is the prophecies coming to life in marijuana! Jesus Christ was anointed with gallons of marijuana oil mixed with olive oil and other spices.
THE U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY OF KENTUCKY HAS BEEN INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS IMPORTANT EVENT IN OUR STATE…
SPEAKERS INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF REPEAL OF PROHIBITION OF THIS PLANT AND HOW REPEAL WILL END THE WAR ON CANNABIS FOR EVERYONE.
PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND ….
One citizen-journalist’s journey into the drug war bureaucracy shows why previous efforts to reschedule pot have been DEA’d on arrival.
October 30, 2013
Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug in America. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Cannabis sativa is as dangerous as heroin. (You know… as in heroin!) To justify this ranking, the DEA has declared that the plant has absolutely no medical value. Zero. Nada. Zip. The federal government has determined that this position is backed by science.
Marijuana’s current status as one of the most dangerous drugs in America became official in 1970, during the Nixon administration. (Putting matters in ludicrous perspective, cocaine and even Breaking Bad meth are Schedule II.) Every administration since then has treated marijuana as mad, bad and dangerous to know, with virtually no attempt made to reclassify it. And that list includes the current one.
About the Author
Harmon Leon is the author of six books, including The American Dream, The Harmon Chronicles and Republican Like Me. His…
“It’s a bit of an Alice in Wonderland scenario with the Obama administration,” explains Kris Hermes of American for Safe Access (ASA). “He made statements prior to being elected about changing the policy on marijuana, but in reality the opposite has happened.”
Not only have there been more medical marijuana arrests during Obama’s administration than the entire Bush regime, but even in states like California and Washington, there’s been a steady rise in the number of people being raided even though they’re in full compliance with state law. The federal government has threatened landlords and financial institutions working with medical marijuana businesses; the IRS has been involved with audits; pro-pot lawmakers have been bullied; and veterans using marijuana for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder have been denied medical benefits by the Veterans Administration—all because of marijuana’s Schedule I status.
On the other hand, dropping pot down a notch to Schedule II (let alone III, IV or V, or removing it from the Controlled Substances Act completely) would be a big step in resolving the clash between state and federal law, since such a move would at least acknowledge marijuana’s medical utility and allow doctors to legally prescribe it.
So what can be done to reschedule marijuana in a country where the “drug czar” is required by law to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a Schedule I substance—in any form?
Time to put on our citizen-journalist’s hat and go through the looking glass into the bizarre legal labyrinth of the rescheduling process. Kris Hermes warned that it wouldn’t be easy: “Bureaucrats shut down and refuse to talk when it’s convenient for them not to talk… when it suits their purpose!”
I Contact the DEA
Phoning the DEA is an unnerving experience—a sensation similar to being in high school and calling your dad at 2 am to inform him that you’ve crashed the family car (though now safe in the knowledge that the NSA will keep tabs on me).
I get a DEA representative on the phone. He goes by the name Rusty. (Perhaps because of his employer’s corroded views on ending the drug war?)
“Could I get any information regarding the rescheduling of medical marijuana?”
“I don’t want to spark a debate,” Rusty from the DEA replies. “I don’t know if that’s something we’d weigh in on. I don’t know what the point would be—our stance is pretty much on our website.”
Rusty from the DEA informs me that the agency’s position on medical marijuana can be found under the tab astutely labeled “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse.” (The thirty-page PDF reads like some bureaucrat’s idea for a remake of Reefer Madness.)
The key words in this manifesto: dangers, consequences, abuse. That doesn’t seem to indicate much willingness to consider pot’s medical value. Apparently, the DEA is still convinced that cancer victims are merely “abusing” marijuana to alleviate their chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea.
Rusty from the DEA adds: “You know, Congress can change this at any point—which people seem to forget.”
Perfect. That would be the same body that recently shut down the federal government and threatened the United States with default. But while the DEA might say that rescheduling is up to Congress, according to the ASA, that’s not exactly the case. The DEA actually delays the process—with no time limit imposed for answering rescheduling petitions, the agency takes the longest possible time before reaching a decision. (And then it says no.) To get around to denying the ASA’s rescheduling petition, it took the federal government a whopping nine years.
I Contact the FDA
According to a memorandum of understanding between the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration, a rescheduling petition has to go through the FDA. (Despite the fact that the DEA is under no obligation to recognize the conclusions of that agency.) Meanwhile, roughly every nineteen minutes, an American dies of accidental prescription-drug overdose—and these are pills approved by the FDA. (“Approved!”) Since the big pharmaceutical companies can’t make money off homegrown medical marijuana, might that be swaying the FDA’s recommendation?
“Can I ask a few questions about the rescheduling of medical marijuana?” I ask an unnamed FDA representative.
“I’m looking into this for you,” she replies.
“We cannot comment on this topic due to pending citizen petitions, other than to say our analyses and decision-making processes are ongoing.”
Not much to work with there, though I’m intrigued by the mention of “pending citizen petitions.” I press on: “What would be the process needed for medical marijuana to be approved by the FDA?”
“As you are aware, Schedule 1 drugs have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and as I indicated before, we cannot comment on this topic of rescheduling due to pending citizen petitions.”
My information parade has been rained out. Why so cagey? After all, the FDA approved Marinol, whose active ingredient is 100 percent synthetic THC (i.e., the stuff that makes pot so dangerous and addictive that it has to be classified as Schedule I). And Marinol, strangely enough, is Schedule III—even though no pot plant in the history of marijuana has tested at 100 percent THC. (Even the strongest pot these days clocks in at under 40 percent.)
So my basic question goes unanswered, though the FDA representative does grant me an open invitation to check out the agency’s website—anytime I please!
My inquiry at the Justice Department yields similar results: “Hi Harmon—DOJ’s enforcement policy on marijuana is in the attached. Thanks.”
My attempt at securing a comment from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals—which threw out the ASA’s appeal on its rescheduling petition—doesn’t go much better: “I’m sorry. I don’t know the answer to your question. I am sure there must be subject matter experts out there who would know.… Good luck!”
Down and Down the Rabbit Hole…
At the heart of the approval process is the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Ironically—or maybe not—the organization is funded by the federal government. Catch-22: for the DEA to reschedule marijuana, scientific studies authorized by NIDA have to prove its medical benefits. This is basically like putting the mice in charge of the mousey snacks. In his now-famous about-face on medical marijuana, Dr. Sanjay Gupta pointed out how many of NIDA’s studies are actually designed to find detrimental effects—with only about 6 percent, he estimates, looking into medical benefits. The end result of NIDA’s efforts: the almost-complete suppression of research into the therapeutic value of marijuana.
“Will Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s statement have any impact on rescheduling medical marijuana?” I ask the NIDA rep.
NIDA’s response: “The best resource for questions about rescheduling is the Drug Enforcement Administration.” (A phone number is provided.)
Reaching deep into my citizen-journalist’s bag of tricks, I try a more straightforward approach: “What would it take to have medical marijuana rescheduled? Clearly we’re at a crossroads where public opinion is changing, yet the federal government doesn’t want to change its stance. Is it left to further scientific studies or any other factors?”
“You’ll need to contact the DEA for questions about rescheduling.”
And so I’m back at square one. It turns out that getting an answer from the federal government on rescheduling marijuana is a lot like contacting the local Scientology center and asking them to go on record about the planet Xenu. In the meantime, the Supreme Court recently declined to hear ASA’s appeal on its rescheduling petition—the one that the DEA waited nine years to reject, and that the DC Circuit Court turned down on appeal, declaring that only Congress has the power to amend the Controlled Substances Act.
If the federal government is determined to maintain marijuana as a highly illegal Schedule 1 substance—despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary and an ongoing sea change in public opinion—then perhaps its best ploy at this point would be to sit on its hands and do absolutely nothing.
Also In This Issue
Katrina vanden Heuvel: “Why Its Always Been Time to Legalize Marijuana”
Mike Riggs: “Obama’s War on Pot”
Carl L. Hart: “Pot Reform’s Race Problem”
Kristen Gwynne: “Can Medical Marijuana Survive in Washington State?”
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian: “Baking Bad: A Potted History of High Times”
Various Contributors: “The Drug War Touched My Life: Why I’m Fighting Back”
And only online…
J. Hoberman: “The Cineaste’s Guide to Watching Movies While Stoned”
Seth Zuckerman: “Is Pot-Growing Bad for the Environment?”
October 30, 2013
By John Kozy
Global Research, October 29, 2013
The English who settled America brought English culture with them. The colonies were nothing but little Englands. When the colonists revolted, they were merely trying to get free of the tyrannical English monarchy, not trying to change the culture. They were perfectly happy with the English way of life. They carried on its practices and adopted the English system of common law.
That sixteenth century culture is alive and well in America today and is why America is in many respects a backward nation. Americans are living 500 years behind the times.
One would like to believe that human institutions exist to enhance the lives of people, but there is very little evidence to support that view. If enhancing the lives of people is not the purpose of human institutions, what is? The American Constitution lists six goals the founders expected the nation to accomplish:
We the People of the United States, in Order to (1) form a more perfect Union, (2) establish Justice, (3) insure domestic Tranquility, (4) provide for the common defence, (5) promote the general Welfare, and (6) secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Unfortunately, no American government has ever tried to govern in a way that seeks to attain these goals. So the American government is either an unconstitutional, failed state or else the framers of the Constitution must be thought of as having engaged in unrealistic political propaganda. At any rate, the American government is not what the Constitution makes it out to be. The question is why? The answer is the stupid political economy!
The English who settled America brought English culture with them. The colonies were nothing but little Englands. When the colonists revolted, they were merely trying to get free of the tyrannical English monarchy, not trying to change the culture. They were perfectly happy with the English way of strife. They carried on its practices and adopted the English system of common law.
That sixteenth century culture is alive and well in America today and is why America is in many respects a backward nation. Americans are living 500 years behind the times.
The English were engaged in economic activities for hundreds of years before Adam Smith published his An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nation; all he did was provide English merchants with a rationalization for what they had always done and wanted to do more of. Laissez-faire (let [them] do), to them, meant the ability to engage in economic practices without being subjected to governmental restrictions and tariffs. Then, like today, merchants wanted the freedom to profiteer by buying cheap and selling dear. Merchants, then or now, have had little interest in abstruse economic theory unless its models promise greater profit.
But buying cheap and selling dear applies to labor as well as materials, and the classical economists provide a rationalization for that maxim too. The subsistence theory of wages, advanced by classical economists, holds that the market price of labour always tends toward the minimum required for subsistence (that is, for basic needs such as food and shelter). Even Alfred Marshall, America’s first modern economist, was of the opinion that wages in the long run would tend to equal maintenance and reproduction costs. So when the Republican party seeks to eliminate regulations and keep the minimum wage low, they are acting just like sixteenth century English merchants and their boot-licking economists. Merchants become sheep dogs that herd human sheep, and our economists think nothing of it. They have adopted the British way of strife totally.
Although this impoverishment of labor is bad enough, in a globalized economy it is devastating. The classical economists held that a subsistence wage had to be high enough to enable the workforce to reproduce itself in order to maintain a labor supply; in a globalized economy, the workforce needed exists in underdeveloped countries. A domestic workforce is entirely unnecessary, so there is no need to even grant it subsistence wages or any other humane benefit. From a merchants’/economists’ point of view, domestic labor becomes expendable. Why pay it anything at all?
What a lovely world our economists advocate! Economics is not merely a dismal science, it is a murderous one.
Merchants and economists constitute a class of totally inhumane human beings. (Isn’t inhumane human a contradiction?) It seems as though two entirely different races have intermingled—the human race and an inhumane one. In the words of Pope Francis,
“A savage capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost . . . of exploitation without thinking of people.”
What kind of person would support this economy? Although they may revel in their fortunes and often act and speak like the rest of us, they are not like us. They are evil to the marrow of their bones. Logically, the inhumane are either not human or deranged.
One such person is Arnaud Costinot, an MIT economist, who uses the doctrine of comparative advantage to justify globalization. He is said to hold this:
“Ricardo thought that instead of trying to produce a wide range of goods, countries could grow by specializing in the goods they could produce most cheaply, and then trading those goods with other countries. This made sense, Ricardo claimed, even when a country could make multiple products more cheaply, in absolute terms, than other countries.
How? Suppose, Ricardo posited, that England produces cloth more cheaply than wine, while Portugal produces wine more cheaply than cloth. And suppose Portugal produces both products more cheaply than England does. Both countries could still benefit from trading in equal terms: England could specialize in making cloth, and trade that for wine. But Portugal could specialize in making wine, and trade that for England’s cloth — which would be the cheapest way to acquire cloth, even if Portugal’s own cloth was cheaper to make than England’s.”
Only thing is, Ricardo never wrote any such thing, and to describe what he wrote in this way is intellectual dishonesty at its worst. Ricardo never uses the word “cheaply.” He uses “the number of man hours needed to produce one unit of cloth or wine,” ‘Man hours worked’ is not a wage or a value of currency. The production may not be cheap. By deliberately misstating what Ricardo writes, economists advocate the exploitation and impoverishment of workers and ultimately their destruction—a truly evil and inhumane goal.
This is the only explanation for the right wing’s war on the poor. Beasts of burden are disposed of when they have lost their usefulness, so destroying the middle class is not to be lamented. When the labor of underdeveloped countries became available to manufacturers, the American middle class became expendable. That is the American Republican party’s goal. It seeks to shrink the size of government by eliminating the people who need to be taken care of.
Economists want us to believe that free trade makes everyone richer, but experience teaches us otherwise.
The Internet is replete with articles both pro and con, but the attitudes of people to offshoring is quite consistent. The peoples in underdeveloped nations involved in making products for the West chafe at the extent of the exploitation. Whether in Latin America, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, or Poland exploited labor is never described as prosperous. Neither has prosperity blessed America’s laborers. Exploitation and prosperity are alien concepts. The exploited are never prosperous and the prosperous are never exploited. No nation can boast of its prosperity gotten by offshoring. The empirical evidence gotten anecdotally is better than the dubious statistical evidence cited by economists (see The Real Cost of Offshoring.) India’s laborers are not getting rich working for American companies. NAFTA has not brought prosperity to Mexican or American workers. A low-wage job is not a gainful (prosperous) one. Marx asked workers of the world to unite; Western corporate leaders tell them to be damned. Any economist who does not see what is happening is intellectually blind. Or perhaps, just plain evil.
In The Story so Far, the Economist put it this way:
ONCE UPON A time the rich world’s manufacturing firms largely produced in the rich world for the rich world, and most services were produced close to where they were consumed. Then Western firms started sending manufacturing work abroad on a large scale. By the 1980s this was well established. The movement was overwhelmingly in one direction: away from rich countries to places where workers with adequate skills were much cheaper.
Whether openly stated or not, lower labour costs were almost always the chief rationale.
To corporations, workers are likened to beasts of burden and the economic elite who advocate this economic practice are then likened to vicious dogs. What a wonderful world! It will not change until the welfare of mankind, rather than profit, becomes the goal of political-economy. If the human race is to survive, the welfare of human beings must be the goal of human institutions.
John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.
Reported by: Aaron Adelson
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he hopes Kentucky farmers plant hemp in April.
"We used to grow tobacco on the farm and now basically we just have cattle and grow hay, and it just
seems like a good alternative crop," said Steven Albert, a farmer from Green County.
Albert came to a Hemp Commission meeting to learn more.
The state legalized industrialized hemp if federal law would allow it.
Well, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not prosecute the two states that legalized marijuana. Furthermore,
Comer says the man who wrote the memo testified the government would not prosecute hemp farmers.
Comer says this gives Kentucky the green light.
"This is a very exciting first step, and we’ll just have to see.
History will decide whether this was a defining moment in Kentucky agriculture, or not," said Comer.
He and Senator Rand Paul plan to send the DOJ a letter announcing the state’s intent to move forward.
"I can’t imagine why they would be opposed to it," said Comer.
Things are moving quickly, but farmers like Albert need to learn how to grow hemp.
"Farmers in Green County know how to grow tobacco, tomatoes, anything you can think of,
but when I ask them how do you grow hemp? How do you harvest hemp? Most of them say they don’t know," said Albert.
The state needs to work out some regulatory issues before anybody puts seeds in the ground.
Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media
Another nuance of activity occurred in Bali on Tuesday, as the parole process for Schapelle Corby inched forward once again. Representatives of an agency of the Indonesian Justice Department visited the house where she would be required to live if she were let out of jail early.
Even though she has not yet applied for parole, as with all things Corby, the "news" drove some of the frothier parts of the Australian media into habitual overdrive.
Schapelle Corby is escorted by police to a courtroom in Denpasar in 2006. Photo: AFP
Some outlets have even put a date on her release – October 30.
Well, that may or may not be so. Like the last time a date was so confidently predicted (in May last year, August 2012 was said to be when she would return to Australia), it’s far enough away to be possible, yet not so close that anyone is held accountable if the date is missed.
So, assuming her release is coming up after almost nine years in jail, let’s take the opportunity to assess our attitude to Schapelle Corby.
Schapelle Corby and fellow convicted drug mule Renae Lawrence in Kerobokan Jail in 2010. Photo: Jason Childs
Many people have spent a great deal of time and energy poring over this one woman’s case – the Australian consulate in Bali; authors; lawyers; dozens, if not hundreds of journalists; prison officials, professional internet conspiracy theorists, politicians in both Australia and Indonesia.
It’s not only the Australian media who go into a frenzy at the mention of her name. She has become a touchstone in the Indonesian press, too. There, though, it’s not about an innocent entrapped in a third-world system, it’s about the ugly habit of Westerners to aggressively demand special treatment.
The head of Bali’s Kerobokan jail, Gusti Ngurah Wiratna, remarked to the press in frustration recently: "I’ve got 1000 prisoners, why are you only interested in Schapelle?"
Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of dollars, have changed hands – for paid interviews with the family, internet ads, defamation actions and other civil court actions, royalties and lawyers fees.
Her 2004 arrest and imprisonment has turned into a Schapelle industry.
Sadly, for several years, the subject of that industry has suffered from severe mental health issues, and has largely removed herself from its centre. Even the Corby family-friendly journalists can only quote "those who know and live with her" in their stories because Corby herself refuses any direct interaction with the press.
She does not even go to the visitor’s area of Kerobokan in case there might be journalists there. Her absence, for the same reason, from compulsory prison events, has potentially even harmed her cause.
Views of her innocence in the broader public are likely to be higher, but substantially lower than at the height of the "Our Schapelle" frenzy of 2004 and 2005.
It’s her perceived innocence that initially drove the Corby story to the point of obsession, but even though this has changed, nine years later, we in the media remain closely focused on every detail of her incarceration and possible release.
Perhaps we assume people will be moved by the same impulses, or the echoes of the impulses, that moved them a decade ago.
But let’s consider what all this will mean when she is ultimately released, whether on parole or at the end of her sentence.
After 10 years in a bubble, Corby will be exposed to the world.
She’ll be walking the narrow streets of Kuta, living in a Balinese compound whose address is well known, with the world’s media – including a chaotic Indonesian press pack – on her doorstep.
The inevitable paid interviews will create an appetite among the unsuccessful bidders for exclusives of a different kind – for evidence of her poor mental state, for pictures of her drinking her first beer, wearing a bikini at the beach, hanging out with a man, throwing a tantrum.
In the open, she’ll lack the protection afforded by the Australian consulate from the tourists and stickybeaks who even now occasionally try to get into the jail to visit her.
The local police are unwilling and unequipped to provide any protection.
Whatever you think of her guilt or innocence, Corby has served a long sentence, and her adjustment to life on the outside – difficult as it will be already – can only be made immeasurably harder by such attention.
Perhaps it’s time to let go of our decade-long obsession and finally just leave Schapelle Corby alone.
CORBY: THE FACTS
• Corby has been eligible for parole for more than a year, since the Indonesian president granted her clemency with a five-year sentence reduction;
• She has not yet applied for parole, and the Indonesians have not started the process, because the Indonesian immigration department has not yet confirmed that she can get a visa to be able to serve out her sentence in Bali with her sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan;
• All the other conditions for parole – including an unprecedented letter from the Australian government guaranteeing her good behaviour – are in place;
• With continued remission for good behaviour, she is likely to be out in 2015 even if she does not win parole.
CONORD, N.H. – Federal officials preparing to sell the New Hampshire compound of a tax-evading couple convicted of amassing an arsenal of weapons can’t guarantee that explosives and other booby traps aren’t hidden on the 103-acre spread.
In fact, they will openly warn bidders that land mines might be planted throughout Ed and Elaine Brown’s bucolic property in the small town of Plainfield. And they say prospective buyers won’t be allowed on the grounds until they submit a winning bid that frees the government of liability for dismemberment or death.
"It’s going to be a very interesting sale," said Chief U.S. Deputy Marshal Brenda Mikelson, who’s in charge of the auction.
The Browns, who do not recognize the federal government’s authority to tax its citizens, were in a nine-month standoff with authorities in 2007 after they were sentenced to five years in prison for tax evasion. U.S. marshals posing as supporters arrested them peacefully.
They were convicted in 2009 of amassing weapons, explosives and booby traps and of plotting to kill federal agents who came to arrest them.
Ed and Elaine Brown, now in their 70s, are serving sentences of 37 and 35 years respectively.
Mikelson said she has contacted numerous federal agencies that have explosive detection equipment and dogs, and none could ensure a clean sweep of the property, which is set back from the road and includes acres of storm-damaged trees and other natural debris.
"With the size of the property, there’s no way to search it and have any guarantees," Mikelson said.
However, the hilltop house and the grounds up to the tree line have been searched extensively and are deemed free of improvised explosive devices and other booby traps, Mikelson said.
Federal marshals say they are still hammering out the language of the disclaimer and the auction won’t take place before September.
Also being auctioned is Elaine Brown’s dental office in West Lebanon in the heart of the retail hub of New Hampshire’s Upper Valley region.
That commercial property has its own set of complications involving the disposal of patient records to protect their privacy, but it isn’t considered potentially dangerous.
By federal court order, the properties must be sold as is. Minimum bid for the Plainfield compound is $250,000, while the Lebanon office must sell for at least $507,500.
The court has ruled that the Browns and any heirs have no claims to the properties or any assets from their sale.
While the Browns kept federal marshals at bay, they welcomed a parade of anti-tax and anti-government supporters including Randy Weaver, whose wife and son were killed along with a deputy U.S. marshal in a 1992 shootout on Weaver’s property in Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
Mikelson cited those sympathizers as another reason not to open the property to bidders and gawkers.
"They had a lot of supporters," Mikelson. "We’re trying to maintain safety for all."
If the properties sell, the first entities to be paid would be the municipalities of Plainfield and Lebanon, which are owed back property taxes.
Attorney Shawn Tanguay, who represents Lebanon, said that the city as of mid-July was owed roughly $211,500 in taxes, interest and penalties. Plainfield tax collector Michelle Marsh says the town is owed $152,550 on the Browns’ property there.
"We’re all sort of waiting with bated breath to get this settled," Tanguay said.
As Gatewood Galbraith once said, "Our Father’s and Grandfather’s did not go to the beaches of Normandy so that their children could piss in a cup to get a job"…
Corporate "Drug Testing" aided by Pharmaceutical Companies who develop and produce these tests have taken our very right to be able to work away. So long as they are allowed to do this our country will never be truly free and we will have not won ANY war.
The drug testing laws have forced us to be liar’s, cheater’s and last but most important – unemployed.
There is virtually no "blue collar" job for which there is not drug testing.
Everyone already knows how unfair it is to the casual marijuana smoker as the cannabinoids remain in your body for an extended length of time – which in and of itself is a GOOD thing, but Corporate Fascist have condemed us to be "worthless", for corporate use…
Some smaller businesses may be ignorant of the fact that the "1988 Drug Free Workplace Act (DFWA)" DOES NOT require the majority of these businesses conduct drug testing. Other’s are part of the corporate majority who will adhere to drug testing to try to lower their insurance premiums and "slap the hands" of anyone who would like to use marijuana either for personal or medical reasons. They do this in order to continue the "Elkhorn Manifesto" regime to keep cannabis out of the hands of those who would attempt to put an end to the oil based society which we now "enjoy".
It’s all about where the profit is and how far they are willing to go to keep it.
The slaves were never set free. Everyone just became "equal" in color and was run off of their farms and into the Industrial Revolution.
The slaves are us. All of us.
Until we can get the drug testing laws eradicated we will continue on as slaves long after the "law" has been changed regarding the use of marijuana/cannabis.
It may not be in the government’s best interest to keep paying for incarceration for use, but it IS in corporate America’s best interest to keep the cannabis off the shelf.
Thats life in America…let the "private sector" handle it…
Drug-Free Workplaces do NOT have to test for marijuana (Updated) – November 21, 2012 by Russ Belville
WASHINGTON — The government wants businesses to drug test their workers to boost productivity and reduce health care costs, according to the 2012 National Drug Control Report released Tuesday.
Farmers have always saved seeds from their harvest to sow the following year. But Monsanto and other big seed companies have changed the rules of the game.
June 20, 2013 |
The following content originally appeared on TruthOut.
There has been mixed news for the agrochemical giant Monsanto recently. On the one hand, there was the surprise announcement on June 1 by company spokesman Brandon Mitchener: "We are no longer working on lobbying for more cultivation in Europe… Currently we do not plan to apply for the approval of new genetically modified crops."
The embattled corporation has decided to stop tilting against the windmill of European resistance to its controversial biotech seeds. Eight EU nations have already prohibited GM (genetically modified) cultivation on their territory and banned the import of genetically modified foods from abroad.
But Monsanto’s prospects in the United States took a very different turn last month when the US Supreme Court ordered Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman to pay Monsanto over $80,000 for planting its GM soybean seeds. Bowman had purchased the seeds from a grain elevator rather than from Monsanto itself, as their corporate contract requires. The seeds had been saved from an earlier crop.
For as long as humans have been growing food, farmers have saved seeds from their harvest to sow the following year. But Monsanto and other big seed companies have changed the rules of the game. They have successfully argued that they spend millions of dollars developing new crop varieties and that these products should be treated as proprietary inventions with full patent protection. Just as one can’t legally reproduce a CD or DVD, farmers are now prohibited from copying the GM seeds that they purchase from companies like Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and Syngenta.
In one sense, these corporations no longer sell seeds – they lease them, requiring farmers to renew their lease with every subsequent growing season. Monsanto itself compares its GM seeds to rental cars. When you are finished using them, rights revert to the owner of the "intellectual property" contained within the seed.
Some farmers have saved their seeds anyway (called "brown bagging"), in some cases to save money, in others because they don’t like the big companies telling them how to farm. Monsanto has responded with an all-out effort to track down the brown baggers and prosecute them as an example to others who might be tempted to violate its patent. By aggressively enforcing its "no replant policy," Monsanto has initiated a permanent low-grade war against farmers. At the time of this writing, the company had not responded to emailed questions about its seed saving policies.
"I don’t know of [another] company that chooses to sue its own customer base," Joseph Mendelson of the Center for Food Safety told Vanity Fair Magazine. " It’s a very bizarre business strategy."
Yet the strategy appears to be working. Over 90 percent of the soybeans, corn, canola and cotton grown in the United States are patented genetically modified organisms (commonly known as GMOs). The soybean variety that Bowman planted has proved popular with farmers because it has been modified to survive multiple sprayings by Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, whose active agent is glyphosate. While Monsanto claims that GMOs increase crop yields, there is little evidence that this is the case. The chemical giant turned seed company also claims that the new technology decreases the need for agrochemicals. Yet 85 percent of all GM crops are bred to be herbicide resistant, which has meant that pesticide use is increasing as a result of the spread of GM crops. What GMOs were designed to do – and indeed accomplish – is create plants that can be grown efficiently in the chemical-intensive large scale monocultures that dominate American agriculture.
A wealthy Maryland journalist (who’s neither a Democrat or Republican) has exposed a scandal brewing within the current Administration.
He says it could ruin Obama’s entire Presidency… and would also result in some of the most dramatic changes to ordinary American life in more than 50 years.
Senior politicians reveal that US counter-terrorism efforts have swept up personal data from American citizens for years
The scale of America’s surveillance state was laid bare on Thursday as senior politicians revealed that the US counter-terrorism effort had swept up swaths of personal data from the phone calls of millions of citizens for years.
After the revelation by the Guardian of a sweeping secret court order that authorised the FBI to seize all call records from a subsidiary of Verizon, the Obama administration sought to defuse mounting anger over what critics described as the broadest surveillance ruling ever issued.
A White House spokesman said that laws governing such orders "are something that have been in place for a number of years now" and were vital for protecting national security. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said the Verizon court order had been in place for seven years. "People want the homeland kept safe," Feinstein said.
But as the implications of the blanket approval for obtaining phone data reverberated around Washington and beyond, anger grew among other politicians.
Intelligence committee member Mark Udall, who has previously warned in broad terms about the scale of government snooping, said: "This sort of widescale surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I’ve said Americans would find shocking." Former vice-president Al Gore described the "secret blanket surveillance" as "obscenely outrageous".
The Verizon order was made under the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) as amended by the Patriot Act of 2001, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. But one of the authors of the Patriot Act, Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, said he was troubled by the Guardian revelations. He said that he had written to the attorney general, Eric Holder, questioning whether "US constitutional rights were secure".
He said: "I do not believe the broadly drafted Fisa order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American."
The White House sought to defend what it called "a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats". White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Fisa orders were used to "support important and highly sensitive intelligence collection operations" on which members of Congress were fully briefed.
"The intelligence community is conducting court-authorized intelligence activities pursuant to a public statute with the knowledge and oversight of Congress and the intelligence community in both houses of Congress," Earnest said.
He pointed out that the order only relates to the so-called metadata surrounding phone calls rather than the content of the calls themselves. "The order reprinted overnight does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls," Earnest said.
"The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the name of any subscriber. It relates exclusively to call details, such as a telephone number or the length of a telephone call."
But such metadata can provide authorities with vast knowledge about a caller’s identity. Particularly when cross-checked against other public records, the metadata can reveal someone’s name, address, driver’s licence, credit history, social security number and more. Government analysts would be able to work out whether the relationship between two people was ongoing, occasional or a one-off.
The disclosure has reignited longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government’s domestic spying powers.
Ron Wyden of Oregon, a member of the Senate intelligence committee who, along with Udell, has expressed concern about the extent of US government surveillance, warned of "sweeping, dragnet surveillance". He said: "I am barred by Senate rules from commenting on some of the details at this time, However, I believe that when law-abiding Americans call their friends, who they call, when they call, and where they call from is private information.
"Collecting this data about every single phone call that every American makes every day would be a massive invasion of Americans’ privacy."
Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming. It’s a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents.
"It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies."
Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice under President Obama.
The order names Verizon Business Services, a division of Verizon Communications. In its first-quarter earnings report, published in April, Verizon Communications listed about 10 million commercial lines out of a total of 121 million customers. The court order, which lasts for three months from 25 April, does not specify what type of lines are being tracked. It is not clear whether any additional orders exist to cover Verizon’s wireless and residential customers, or those of other phone carriers.
Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific, named target suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets. The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual.
Senators Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman, speak to reporters about the NSA cull of phone records. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Feinstein said she believed the order had been in place for some time. She said: "As far as I know this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been the case for the past seven years. This renewal is carried out by the [foreign intelligence surveillance] court under the business records section of the Patriot Act. Therefore it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress."
The Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement that the secret court order was unprecedented. "As far as we know this order from the Fisa court is the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued: it requires no level of suspicion and applies to all Verizon [business services] subscribers anywhere in the US.
"The Patriot Act’s incredibly broad surveillance provision purportedly authorizes an order of this sort, though its constitutionality is in question and several senators have complained about it."
Russell Tice, a retired National Security Agency intelligence analyst and whistleblower, said: "What is going on is much larger and more systemic than anything anyone has ever suspected or imagined."
Although an anonymous senior Obama administration official said that "on its face" the court order revealed by the Guardian did not authorise the government to listen in on people’s phone calls, Tice now believes the NSA has constructed such a capability.
"I figured it would probably be about 2015" before the NSA had "the computer capacity … to collect all digital communications word for word," Tice said. "But I think I’m wrong. I think they have it right now."
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Originally posted on CBS Los Angeles:
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Privacy advocates are questioning whether the Los Angeles Police Department’s alleged use of a controversial cellphone tracking technology is legal.
KNX 1070′s Claudia Peschiutta reports that police have lauded the effectiveness of the portable StingRay device in tracking down a suspect. However, critics are worried that other citizens’ data could be compromised in the process.[cbs-audio url="http://cbsla.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/stingray-cpe-seg.mp3" size="" download="" name="Privacy Fears Linger Over LAPD's Alleged Use Of Cellphone Tracking Device" artist="Claudia Peschiutta"]
Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, said his organization obtained documents that show the LAPD used the portable StingRay device 21 times out of a total of 155 cell phone searches over a four-month period in 2012.
“One of the concerns about it is that, although the police may be looking for a particular cell phone, they also are able to get the same information from other cell phones,” Scheer said…
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Originally posted on BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades!:
On the face of it, this does not appear to be a big story. What is important is the continuing effort to limit State’s Rights as well as our own. Forget privacy and Patient Doctor privilege. I see a more ominous future in the DEA’s march. Beware of the push for Mental Health evaluation before purchasing guns as has been suggested. Has any one ever been given a prescription for Valium when under a lot of stress? In fact, one in nine has seeked counseling some time in their life. Keep your eye out on this trojan horse and gun control.
The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking to block the Drug Enforcement Administration from obtaining prescription records without a warrant in Oregon.
The state of Oregon filed suit against the DEA last year after the agency sought to access the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), a database of prescription records for…
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bunkerville is discussing. Toggle Comments
Originally posted on sobre ebriedad:
Among only the latest of the states with lawmakers proposing required drug testing for public assistance beneficiaries are Ohio, Kansas, and New Hampshire. But these bills have been popping up in state legislatures and even in Congress since the 2008 recession hit. Pitched as “cost-saving” measures to avoid wasteful spending, the irony is that Florida–the only state to have implemented drug testing for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program–actually lost money in its drug testing initiative, before it was halted by a federal district court judge, who ruled it an unconstitutional search under the Fourth Amendment.
This time last year, my “law office” of first-year law students was hammering out the first draft of the advocacy manual we prepared for our client, the Drug Policy Alliance. I was part of the Statutes team, which conducted an extensive…
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Official White House Response to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol. and 7 other petitions
What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana
By Gil Kerlikowske
When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug’s effects.
According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world’s largest source of drug abuse research – marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20′s. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.
Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.
As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.
That is why the President’s National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we’ve seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We’re also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.
Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.
Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President’s approach to drug control to learn more.
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- Marijuana Facts (ONDCP)
- Drug Abuse Warning Network (HHS)
- Treatment Episode Data Set (HHS)
- National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS)
- Monitoring the Future Survey, University of Michigan
Gil Kerlikowske is Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
Posted: 01/29/2013 12:37 pm EST
WASHINGTON – It’s just January 2013, but in the race to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after nearly three decades in the Senate, one small super PAC is already exploring all options.
Progress Kentucky, launched in December, was born out of discussions among Democratic activist Shawn Reilly, who now heads the super PAC, and his friends as they debated how to defeat McConnell in 2014.
"Nobody else is doing it. So let’s start a super PAC and make it a grassroots effort," Reilly said, recalling the reasoning process. "Make it of the people of Kentucky and for the people of Kentucky."
Reilly has a progressive background, having worked for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq in its 2007 summer campaign as well as on a number of statewide and local races in Kentucky. Before starting Progress Kentucky, he was a member of the executive committee of the state Democratic Party.
His group’s first order of business is to find candidates to take on McConnell from both the Democratic Party in the general election and the Republican Party in a primary challenge. As Politico reported on Monday, Progress Kentucky is in contact with Tea Party groups across the Bluegrass State to try to convince a credible conservative to run against McConnell in the primary. The group has already sent out a petition to 22 candidates — Democrats, Republicans and independents — to see if anyone is willing to challenge the state’s senior senator.
By actively seeking out candidates, Reilly said, his super PAC is letting them know that they’ll have support if they run. "Hey, if you want to run, you’re going to have some support on the ground here to help you," he said.
It may seem strange that a liberal Democratic organization would be working with Tea Party supporters, but Reilly said there are important areas in which the two groups agree.
"They are just as concerned with [McConnell's] corruption and crony capitalism — some of the things that he’s done over the years in terms of earmarks," Reilly said. "They are just as much concerned about those things as people on the left are. They’re looking for candidates that can deliver that type of message, and we’re looking at potentially supporting those kind of candidates who can deliver that good-government, anti-corruption type of message."
In fact, this would not be the first time that a Democratic group involved itself in a Republican primary campaign with the intent of knocking off the candidate with the better chance of winning the general election.
Last year, Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, ran ads attacking Missouri businessman John Brunner in the GOP Senate primary because they thought he could have seriously challenged the vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in the general election. At the same time, McCaskill’s campaign ran ads promoting then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), the seemingly weakest candidate in the Republican field. Akin went on to win the three-way Republican primary and then fulfill Democratic hopes and dreams by laying waste to his own campaign with bizarre comments about rape.
In the 2012 Indiana GOP Senate primary, the super PAC American Bridge 21st Century released numerous memos and online videos attacking then-Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) for not paying taxes in the Hoosier State and for residing primarily in Washington, D.C. These efforts, while not central to Lugar’s primary loss to Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock, helped drive negative news against Lugar during the early stages of the race. Mourdock went on to mimic Akin and lose the general election after spouting inappropriate comments about rape.
But McConnell is not Akin or Mourdock. To pull off something like this, Progress Kentucky is going to need money. So far, it is relying largely on grassroots donations and not on the kind of large contributors that most major super PACs use to fill their coffers. The group has a fundraising target of $100,000 by the end of February and hopes to raise up to $2 million to fund television, field and other voter targeting activities.
The group has also been in contact with labor unions in Kentucky and helped to roll out a report by the Public Campaign Action Fund, a campaign finance reform group, tying McConnell’s use of the filibuster to particular campaign donors. Those connections could help Progress Kentucky as it takes on the incumbent Republican senator.
Mom Can’t Get Food Stamps After Drug Offense, Resorts to Prostitution to Feed her Kids
If she’d committed murder, Carla could have gotten assistance to feed her children. But because the crime she committed was related to drugs, she can’t.
December 21, 2012 |
Carla walked into my office with despair in her eyes. I was surprised. Carla has been doing well in her four months out of prison; she got off drugs, regained custody of her kids, and even enrolled in a local community college.
Without much prodding she admitted to me that she had retuned to prostitution: “I am putting myself at risk for HIV to get my kids a f—ing happy meal.”
Despite looking high and low for a job, Carla explained, she was still unemployed. Most entry-level jobs felt out of reach with her drug record, but what’s worse, even the state wasn’t willing to throw her a temporary life preserver.
You see, Carla is from one of the 32 states in the country that ban anyone convicted of a drug felony from collecting food stamps. With the release of the Global Burden of Disease Study last week, it bears looking at how we are perpetuating burdens among the most vulnerable Americans with our outdated laws.
If she’d committed rape or murder, Carla could have gotten assistance to feed herself and her children, but because the crime she committed was a drug felony, Carla joined the hundreds of thousands of drug felons who are not eligible.
The 1996 passage of the Welfare Reform Act was supposedly implemented to prevent drug addicts from selling their food stamps for drugs. But that concern is virtually unwarranted today. Unlike old food-stamp coupons, today’s food stamps are distributed electronically, which makes selling or trading them quite difficult.
Nonetheless, the law persists. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nine states have a lifetime ban for food-stamp eligibly for people convicted of drug felonies. Twenty-three states have a partial ban, such as permitting eligibility for persons convicted of drug possession but not sale, or for persons enrolled in drug treatment programs.
Denying food stamp benefits to people convicted of drug offenses is an excessive and ineffective crime control strategy. The policy increases an individual’s risk of returning to prison by making it more difficult for people to survive after they get out, slowing or possibly even preventing their reintegration into society. People without the financial cushion necessary to get through the initial period of job searching and re-establishing a life have little choice but to turn to illegal means to make ends meet.
What’s more, the food-stamp ban is a law that works against good public health policy. As a doctor who cares predominantly for people who are released from prison, I see the damaging consequences of this ban on food stamps. I have seen patients of mine with diabetes go without food and end up hospitalized with low blood sugar, and still others with HIV skip their antiretrovirals because they don’t have food to take with their pills. Not having access to food is associated with bad health outcomes including worsening diabetes, HIV, depression. Young children face anemia, diabetes, and depression.
Women with children are especially affected. It’s estimated that 70,000 women and their children are banned from obtaining food stamps. This means mothers who are simply trying to feed themselves and their children, and who are trying to get back on their feet after serving their time, are banned from receiving the money to pay for the basics necessary to survive. Meanwhile, 46 million others, including college graduates and PhDs with far more resources, can receive food aid.
Carla was arrested at 20 for selling marijuana. At the time, she had also been making money working for her “boyfriend” as a sex worker. Her boyfriend was also arrested for robbery. He could qualify for food stamps upon release. But not Carla. She continues to pay for selling marijuana— a drug which two states have now voted to legalize outright—and the price is health risks for herself and for her children.
thomas vance Published: December 17, 2012 11:30AM
Well the year is ending and we are looking forward to the New Year with hope and anticipation when it comes to marijuana law reform. Several big changes are working their way through the system but there will not be any changes to the drug law situation till after the New Year.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet in January to, according to Senator Patrick Leahy Chairman of the committee, hold a hearing in light of recently passed State laws legalizing personal marijuana use. Given the fiscal constraints of Federal Law enforcement, Leahy asked in a letter to the Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske how the administration plans to use Federal resources in light of new laws in Washington and Colorado, as well as what recommendations the agency is making to the Department of Justice. Time to start burying that committee in letters! Listed below are the current committee members. They might change after the new Congress in January but most will remain the same.
Senator Patrick Leahy, D Vermont, Senator Herb Kohl, D Wisconsin, Senator Dianne Feinstein, D California, Senator Chuck Shumer, D NewYork, Senator Dick Durbin D Illinois, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D Rhode Island, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D Minnesota, Senator Al Franken, D Minnesota, Senator Christopher Coons, D Delaware, Senator Richard Blumenthal, D Connecticut, Senator Chuck Grassley, R Iowa, Senator Orrin Hatch, R Utah, Senator Jon Kyl, R Arizona, Senator Jeff Sessions, R Alabama, Senator Lindsey Graham, R South Carolina, Senator John Cornyn, R Texas, Senator Michal Lee, R Utah, and Senator Tom Coburn, R Oklahoma. When you write them be sure to address your letters and emails to Judicial Committee Member Senator so and so, or address the letters to the committee as a whole. This is important as Senators do not address concerns of the constituents of other Senators and they will tell you to write your own Senator, but as the committee or a member of the committee they should take your letter under consideration.
Published: December 15, 2012
A recent national poll concluded that 43 percent of Americans believe unemployment and job creation is the most important issue facing our country. So it’s no surprise that Republicans and Democrats in Washington claim to be big supporters of creating jobs.
But the truth is D.C. policy-makers on both sides of the aisle stifle jobs and opportunity with regulations and policies that hurt our work force. And often, it flies in the face of common sense. The perfect example of this is the debate over industrial hemp.
Prior to World War II, Kentucky led the nation in providing 94 percent of all industrialized hemp. However, it was outlawed under an umbrella law that made marijuana illegal. This was simply because they are in the same botanical family and look similar.
But there are major differences in the two plants. Marijuana is made up of 20 percent tetrohydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering chemical, while industrial hemp plants contain less than 0.3 percent.
Comparing hemp to marijuana is like comparing poppy seeds found on bagels to OxyContin. Poppy seeds are in the same family of opiate — the same family that contains codeine, morphine, OxyContin and even heroin.
Yet, you can buy and consume food containing poppy seeds, as thousands of Americans do each day, without experiencing the narcotic effects the rest of its plant is harvested for.
So, the issue with hemp isn’t that the plant is harmful. It’s that the plant might be mistaken for marijuana.
This presents some challenges for law enforcement. But we can address those challenges. And we can return to growing and producing hemp in Kentucky. And in the process, create jobs and opportunity here.
Let me share an example of the economic potential for industrial hemp.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps is based in California and sells products made from hemp plants. David Bronner, the company’s CEO, says it grossed over $50 million in sales this past year. But since the production of industrial hemp is outlawed in America, the company must import 100 percent of the hemp used in their products from other countries.
The company sends hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars every year to other countries because American farmers are not allowed to grow this plant. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not allow the legal growth of hemp.
Today, hemp products are sold around the U.S. in forms of paper, cosmetics, lotions, auto parts, clothes, cattle feed and so much more. If we were to start using hemp plants again for paper, we could ultimately replace using trees as the main source for our paper supply.
One acre of industrial hemp plants can grow around 15,000 pounds of green hemp in about 110 days. For every ton of hemp converted into paper, we could save 12 trees. It is a renewable, sustainable, environmentally conscious crop.
Back in August, I stood alongside Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and a bipartisan group of legislators and promised Kentuckians that I would join the fight to allow the growth and production of industrial hemp. Comer stated that day that the soil and the climate in Kentucky are perfect for the growth of hemp, and that could ultimately allow the commonwealth to be the nation’s top producer.
Recently, Comer revived the long-dormant Kentucky Hemp Commission by calling its first meeting in more than 10 years. This took real leadership and I applaud him for his action. To help get the ball rolling and show our commitment, Bronner wrote a $50,000 check to the commission and I have pledged to match that donation from my personal political action committee.
While Comer and the commission work to address this issue in Kentucky, I have co-sponsored legislation in the U.S. Senate that would require the federal government to honor state laws allowing production of industrial hemp and would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana.
My vision for the farmers and manufacturers of Kentucky is to see us start growing hemp, creating jobs and leading the nation in this industry again. These jobs will be ripe for the taking, and I want the farmers in Kentucky to be the first in line.
AND HOW THE UNITED NATIONS CONTROLS ALL NARCOTICS INCLUDING (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) CANNABIS AND HEMP.
COULD THIS BE THE REAL REASON WHY THE UNITED STATES HAS NOT ADOPTED NEW LAWS AND LEGAL OPINIONS ON MARIJUANA?
IS IT THE UNITED NATIONS WE SHOULD BE PROTESTING OR OUR OWN GOVERNMENTS? DOES OUR OWN GOVERNMENT EVEN HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER THE MATTER?
THE N W O OVER RIDES OUR OWN COUNTRY’S LAWS, AND RULE OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE…
SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS, 1961,
AS AMENDED BY THE 1972 PROTOCOL AMENDING THE
SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS, 1961
Concerned with the health and welfare of mankind,
Recognizing that the medical use of narcotic drugs continues to be indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering and that adequate provision must be made to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs for such purposes,
Recognizing that addiction to narcotic drugs constitutes a serious evil for the individual and is fraught with social and economic danger to mankind,
Conscious of their duty to prevent and combat this evil,
Considering that effective measures against abuse of narcotic drugs require co-ordinated and universal action,
Understanding that such universal action calls for international co-operation guided by the same principles and aimed at common objectives,
Acknowledging the competence of the United Nations in the field of narcotics control and desirous that the international organs concerned should be within the framework of that Organization,
Desiring to conclude a generally acceptable international convention replacing existing treaties on narcotic drugs, limiting such drugs to medical and scientific use, and providing for continuous international co-operation and control for the achievement of such aims and objectives,
Hereby agree as follows:
1. Except where otherwise expressly indicated or where the context otherwise requires, the following definitions shall apply throughout the Convention:
a) “Board” means the International Narcotics Control Board,
b) “Cannabis” means the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops) from which the resin has not been extracted, by whatever name they may be designated.
c) “Cannabis plant” means any plant of the genus Cannabis,
d) “Cannabis resin” means the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant.
e) “Coca bush” means the plant of any species of the genus Erythroxylon.
f) “Coca leaf” means the leaf of the coca bush except a leaf from which all ecgonine, cocaine and any other ecgonine alkaloids have been removed.
g) “Commission” means the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Council.
h) “Council” means the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
i) “Cultivation” means the cultivation of the opium poppy, coca bush or cannabis plant.
j) “Drug” means any of the substances in Schedules I and II, whether natural or synthetic.
k) “General Assembly” means the General Assembly of the United Nations.
1 Note by the Secretariat: The Preamble to the Protocol amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, reads as follows:
“The Parties to the Present Protocol,
“Considering the provisions of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, done at New York on 30 March 1961 (hereinafter called the Single Convention),
“Desiring to amend the Single Convention
“Have agreed as follows:”
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l) “Illicit traffic” means cultivation or trafficking in drugs contrary to the provisions of this Convention.
m) “Import” and “export” mean in their respective connotations the physical transfer of drugs from one State to another State, or from one territory to another territory of the same State.
n) “Manufacture” means all processes, other than production, by which drugs may be obtained and includes refining as well as the transformation of drugs into other drugs.
o) “Medicinal opium” means opium which has undergone the processes necessary to adapt it for medicinal use.
p) “Opium” means the coagulated juice of the opium poppy.
q) “Opium poppy” means the plant of the species Papaver somniferum L.
r) “Poppy straw” means all parts (except the seeds) of the opium poppy, after mowing.
s) “Preparation” means a mixture, solid or liquid, containing a drug.
t) “Production” means the separation of opium, coca leaves, cannabis and cannabis resin from the plants from which they are obtained.
u) “Schedule I”, “Schedule II”, “Schedule III” and “Schedule IV” mean the correspondingly numbered list of drugs or preparations annexed to this Convention, as amended from time to time in accordance with article 3.
v) “Secretary-General” means the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
w) “Special stocks” means the amounts of drugs held in a country or territory by the Government of such country or territory for special government purposes and to meet exceptional circumstances; and the expression “special purposes” shall be construed accordingly.
x) “Stocks” means the amounts of drugs held in a country or territory and intended for:
i) Consumption in the country or territory for medical and scientific purposes,
ii) Utilization in the country or territory for the manufacture of drugs and other substances, or
but does not include the amounts of drugs held in the country or territory,
iv) By retail pharmacists or other authorized retail distributors and by institutions or qualified persons in the duly authorized exercise of therapeutic or scientific functions, or
v) As “special stocks”.
y) Territory” means any part of a State which is treated as a separate entity for the application of the system of import certificates and export authorizations provided for in article 31. This definition shall not apply to the term “territory” as used in articles 42 and 46.
2. For the purposes of this Convention a drug shall be regarded as “consumed” when it has been supplied to any person or enterprise for retail distribution, medical use or scientific research; and “consumption” shall be construed accordingly.
SUBSTANCES UNDER CONTROL
1. Except as to measures of control which are limited to specified drugs, the drugs in Schedule I are subject to all measures of control applicable to drugs under this Convention and in particular to those prescribed in article 4 c), 19, 20, 21, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and 37.
2. The drugs in Schedule II are subject to the same measures of control as drugs in Schedule I with the exception of the measures prescribed in article 30, paragraphs 2 and 5, in respect of the retail trade.
3. Preparations other than those in Schedule III are subject to the same measures of control as the drugs which they contain, but estimates (article 19) and statistics (article 20) distinct from those dealing with these drugs shall not be required in the case of such preparations, and article 29, paragraph 2 c) and article 30, paragraph 1 b) ii) need not apply.
4. Preparations in Schedule III are subject to the same measures of control as preparations containing drugs in Schedule II except that article 31, paragraphs 1 b) and 3 to 15 and, as regards their acquisition and retail distribution, article 34, paragraph b), need not apply, and that for the purpose of estimates (article 19) and statistics (article 20) the information required shall be restricted to the quantities of drugs used in the manufacture of such preparations.
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5. The drugs in Schedule IV shall also be included in Schedule I and subject to all measures of control applicable to drugs in the latter Schedule, and in addition thereto:
a) A Party shall adopt any special measures of control which in its opinion are necessary having regard to the particularly dangerous properties of a drug so included; and
b) A Party shall, if in its opinion the prevailing conditions in its country render it the most appropriate means of protecting the public health and welfare, prohibit the production, manufacture, export and import of, trade in, possession or use of any such drug except for amounts which may be necessary for medical and scientific research only, including clinical trials therewith to be conducted under or subject to the direct supervision and control of the Party.
6. In addition to the measures of control applicable to all drugs in Schedule I, opium is subject to the provisions of article 19, paragraph 1, subparagraph f), and of articles 21 bis, 23 and 24, the coca leaf to those of articles 26 and 27 and cannabis to those of article 28.
7. The opium poppy, the coca bush, the cannabis plant, poppy straw and cannabis leaves are subject to the control measures prescribed in article 19, paragraph 1, subparagraph e), article 20, paragraph 1, subparagraph g), article 21 bis and in articles 22 to 24; 22, 26 and 27; 22 and 28; 25; and 28, respectively:
8. The Parties shall use their best endeavours to apply to substances which do not fall under this Convention, but which may be used in the illicit manufacture of drugs, such measures of supervision as may be practicable.
9. Parties are not required to apply the provisions of this Convention to drugs which are commonly used in industry for other than medical or scientific purposes, provided that:
a) They ensure by appropriate methods of denaturing or by other means that the drugs so used are not liable to be abused or have ill effects (article 3, paragraph 3) and that the harmful substances cannot in practice be recovered; and
b) They include in the statistical information (article 20) furnished by them the amount of each drug so used.
CHANGES IN THE SCOPE OF CONTROL
1. Where a Party or the World Health Organization has information which in its opinion may require an amendment to any of the Schedules, it shall notify the Secretary-General and furnish him with the information in support of the notification.
2. The Secretary-General shall transmit such notification, and any information which he considers relevant, to the Parties, to the Commission, and, where the notification is made by a Party, to the World Health Organization.
3. Where a notification relates to a substance not already in Schedule I or in Schedule II,
i) The Parties shall examine in the light of the available information the possibility of the provisional application to the substance of all measures of control applicable to drugs in Schedule I;
ii) Pending its decision as provided in subparagraph iii) of this paragraph, the Commission may decide that the Parties apply provisionally to that substance all measures of control applicable to drugs in Schedule I. The Parties shall apply such measures provisionally to the substance in question;
iii) If the World Health Organization finds that the substance is liable to similar abuse and productive of similar ill effects as the drugs in Schedule I or Schedule II or is convertible into a drug, it shall communicate that finding to the Commission which may, in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, decide that the substance shall be added to Schedule I or Schedule II.
- 3 –
4. If the World Health Organization finds that a preparation because of the substances which it contains is not liable to abuse and cannot produce ill effects (paragraph 3) and that the drug therein is not readily recoverable, the Commission may, in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, add that preparation to Schedule III.
5. If the World Health Organization finds that a drug in Schedule I is particularly liable to abuse and to produce ill effects (paragraph 3) and that such liability is not offset by substantial therapeutic advantages not possessed by substances other than drugs in Schedule IV, the Commission may, in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, place that drug in Schedule IV.
6. Where a notification relates to a drug already in Schedule I or Schedule II or to a preparation in Schedule III, the Commission, apart from the measure provided for in paragraph 5, may, in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, amend any of the Schedules by:
a) Transferring a drug from Schedule I to Schedule II or from Schedule II to Schedule I; or
b) Deleting a drug or a preparation as the case may be, from a Schedule.
7. Any decision of the Commission taken pursuant to this article shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all States Members of the United Nations, to non-member States Parties to this Convention, to the World Health Organization and to the Board. Such decision shall become effective with respect to each Party on the date of its receipt of such communication, and the Parties shall thereupon take such action as may be required under this Convention.
8. a) The decisions of the Commission amending any of the Schedules shall be subject to review by the Council upon the request of any Party filed within ninety days from receipt of notification of the decision. The request for review shall be sent to the Secretary-General together with all relevant information upon which the request for review is based;
b) The Secretary-General shall transmit copies of the request for review and relevant information to the Commission, the World Health Organization and to all the Parties inviting them to submit comments within ninety days. All comments received shall be submitted to the Council for consideration;
c) The Council may confirm, alter or reverse the decision of the Commission, and the decision of the Council shall be final. Notification of the Council’s decision shall be transmitted to all States Members of the United Nations, to non-member States Parties to this Convention, to the Commission, to the World Health Organization, and to the Board;
d) During pendency of the review the original decision of the Commission shall remain in effect.
9. Decisions of the Commission taken in accordance with this article shall not be subject to the review procedure provided for in article 7.
The parties shall take such legislative and administrative measures as may be necessary:
a) To give effect to and carry out the provisions of this Convention within their own territories;
b) To co-operate with other States in the execution of the provisions of this Convention; and
c) Subject to the provisions of this Convention, to limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and possession of drugs.
by David Borden, December 10, 2012, 02:54pm
- Colorado Amendment 64
- Executive Branch
- Federal Courts
- Marijuana Legalization
- Marijuana Policy
- Washington Initiative 502
A mostly great piece in Rolling Stone this weekend, "Obama’s Pot Problem," missed the mark on the federal preemption question — can the feds shut down Washington and Colorado’s legalized regulation systems? Tim Dickinson wrote the following on that subject:
[T]he administration appears to have an open-and-shut case: Federal law trumps state law when the two contradict. What’s more, the Supreme Court has spoken on marijuana law: In the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich contesting medical marijuana in California, the court ruled that the federal government can regulate even tiny quantities of pot – including those grown and sold purely within state borders – because the drug is ultimately connected to interstate commerce. If the courts side with the administration, a judge could issue an immediate injunction blocking Washington and Colorado from regulating or taxing the growing and selling of pot – actions that would be considered trafficking under the Controlled Substances Act.
But a former Bush administration official quoted in the New York Times on Thursday, former DOJ civil division head Gregory Katsas, made the opposite prediction. Katsas was "skeptical" that a preemption lawsuit would succeed, according to the Times. Why? Perhaps because it’s not just that the feds can’t force states to criminalize drug possession, as Kevin Sabet selectively pointed out to Dickinson. It’s also the case that they probably can’t directly force the states to criminalize sales either. The Controlled Substances Act in fact leans against federal preemption of state drug policy, as pointed out in a law professors brief on preemption submitted in a California case this year.
Dickinson also pointed out that federal officials had used threats to prosecute state employees involved in implementing regulations for medical marijuana. In my opinion the US Attorney letters were deliberately vague — scary enough to influence state officials, but in most if not all cases stopping short of explicitly making that threat. A better piece of evidence, I think, is that in 16 years of state medical marijuana laws, no federal prosecutor has ever tried to actually invalidate such a law in court, not even after the Raich ruling. Why not? They must not think they have a slam dunk case. And if preemption is not a slam dunk for medical marijuana, then it’s not a slam dunk when it comes to legalization either, although there are additional arguments to throw against full legalization.
The reality is that no one knows how this will turn out if it goes to court. Raich established that federal police agencies can use their powers in medical marijuana states to continue to criminalize marijuana federally, justified by the Interstate Commerce Clause. But that is not the same as having the power to forbid states from granting exceptions to the states’ own anti-marijuana sales laws, which in legal terms is what the regulatory frameworks do, and plenty of smart lawyers are skeptical that they can do that. This is not a slam dunk either way.
Miracle marijuana? 6-year-old California boy’s violent seizures dramatically subside with help of liquid marijuana
Child’s father said seizures were a daily nightmare before the medical marijuana treatment. But medical experts question risks of treating children with the drug.
By Victoria Cavaliere / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 8:57 AM
Jayden David’s seizures have been reduced, and his life is far more normal, now that he’s medicated with a form of liquid marijuana, his father Jason said.
A six-year-old California boy who suffers severe seizures that leave him shaking on the ground and crying for help has finally found some relief, his family says.
Jayden David now takes a dose of medical marijuana.
"He’s in pain and suffering and crying," father Jason David said. "You can’t help him no matter what. What are you supposed to do? You have to do whatever it takes to save their life."
Jayden’s seizures were an almost daily nightmare, David told CNN. His son’s life was so crippled by the violent shaking caused by Dravet’s syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, he couldn’t walk or eat solid food and he had been rushed to the hospital in their hometown of Oakland more than 40 times.
Jayden was even taking 22 pills a day, though nothing improved his condition.
So last year, David gave his son a liquid form of marijuana, which is legal for some medical purposes in California. The results were dramatic, David said.
For the first time since he was four-months-old, Jayden can now make it through a day without a seizure, his father said.
In the past year he has been able to walk, run, swim and play with other children.
His father has also begun to take Jayden off the two dozen anti-seizure pills he had been prescribed, believing they might have kept the boy from developing properly, CNN reported.
Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana clinic in Oakland, California, said Jayden isn’t the only child patient they help.
Children with severe autism, epilepsy, ADHD and cancer can be helped by medicinal marijuana, executive director Steven DeAngelo said.
12/8/2012 8:59:00 AM
Kentucky State Police commissioner against hemp
By BRUCE SCHREINER
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said his agency is opposed to proposals to grow industrial hemp in Kentucky even though he sees the benefits for the agriculture industry.
Brewer said after a meeting of the newly restarted Kentucky Hemp Commission that state police are concerned the agricultural pluses will be offset by law enforcement minuses such as distinguishing between hemp and its cousin, marijuana.
"It’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to the casual observer or even the astute observer to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana as its being grown" he said. He added that problem becomes even more difficult when police use helicopters to search for marijuana fields, a common practice.
Hemp and marijuana are the same species, cannabis sativa, but are genetically distinct. Hemp has a negligible content of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.
The commission, led by Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, held its second meeting since it came out of a decade-long dormancy. Comer is aggressively pursuing state legislation that would allow hemp, which is illegal to grow in the United States, to be grown in Kentucky with federal approval.
Comer says the crop could provide agriculture and manufacturing jobs in Kentucky, as it once did during World War II. U.S. retail sales of hemp products exceeded $400 million last year, according to industry estimates.
The versatile crop can be turned into paper, clothing, food, biofuels, lotions and many other products.
MY RESPONSE TO THE ARTICLE (WHICH HASN’T BEEN APPROVED YET (?)).
What "really" bothers me is the fact that it seems the "Police Departments" throughout the state of Kentucky seem to be the only ones that are making waves over the "Hemp" bill. Yes, I said Hemp, not marijuana – That being said I am for repealing the prohibition on both.
Now, there are two problems that may be itching the necks of the police departments. One is that they really can’t tell the difference between the two plants. I do not see that as a problem because first of all they should be educated enough to be able to tell the difference and two, I’m sure there is some kind of quick field test to verify exactly what type of plant that it is by the THC level.
Then again, it would be nearly impossible to grow "good grade" "Marijuana" outdoors if there were Hemp fields anywhere (or everywhere) nearby – Hemp will definitely override the marijuana plants which just might irritate the growers of marijuana and a few of their business partners. Hmmm.
I am pro HEMP and Marijuana (Cannabis). HEMP should be grown in the fields and Cannabis for consumption grown indoors – and BOTH should be legitimately freed !!!!
But I guess there is nothing like a black market plant to line your pants pockets with….
God Bless the Farmers!
by Tonya Davis on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 9:33pm ·
Lawmakers… Please don’t let me die knowing that this plant could have saved me and you denied the same access as 18 states and DC as well as the 4 federal patients. You can stand up for me and many folks like me..
(I just want to say thank you for reposting my Open Letter Note.)
Come on Obama Administration… I need access to the whole plant of cannabis. I do not buy …. sell or grow… I should have the right to grow it like tomatoes for my medicine. I should be able to use its oils and juice its leaf or eat is raw. or smoke a joint whichever I need at the time.End marijuana Prohibition TODAY!!! and also SAVE Americans at the same time. This plant is the only thing that could save my life. Facebooker’s will you share this everywhere please.
This is an open letter to my Ohio legislators.
I have nowhere else to turn. I hope you hear my cries for help and I hope you stand up for me. Representative Bobby Hagan will be Re introducing the Ohio medical compassion act which I hope you will consider cosponsoring in January 2013.
It would merely allow Ohio’s doctors and patients to decide whether or not medical cannabis could benefit them or not. It would allow the department of health to keep an eye on the program and make sure there were no abuses. Anyone that is in the program would be in a database so that you can keep track of this act of compassion.
We also believe that it would save Ohio taxpayers millions of dollars by not arresting, incarcerating and prosecuting folks for making a choice using cannabis as medicine. we also believe that the Obama administration would not bother our program because there would not be storefronts or dispensaries selling the product.
Over 73% of Ohioans support the compassionate use of marijuana..I am not sure you are aware but our sister state of Michigan has a medical cannabis program. We believe that we should have the same rights as those folks just across our border.
Also Colorado and Washington just legalized marijuana for personal use.
My name is Tonya Davis and I’m your constituent. I am a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter. I could be your neighbor, friend, coworker. You have seen me at the Ohio Statehouse over the last decade in a suit rolling around in my wheelchair trying to bring your attention to alternative medication that is actually safer than aspirin. Yes I’m talking about medical cannabis and this has been my choice of medicine. For a long time you said to me to "bring in a doctor that supports this issue" I have! you have said "bring in the science that supports cannabis as medicine" I have.. You have said " get a Republican on board" WE HAVE… we have jumped through the hoops that you have asked us to jump through.
We have a certified petition for the Ohio alternative treatment amendment that was certified by the SOS and the AG October of last year. We currently have house Bill 214 that is being ignored in the health committee because our speaker of the house refuses to give it a hearing. Now I’m asking you to save my life.
My whole life I have begged for help no one ever hears me. I will be heard this time because this is my life I’m fighting for and I’m going to die on my terms.
Our government knows that cannabis is a medicine and that it is a neuro protective and antioxidant. they have patents on it. I am literally fighting for my life and my independence as well as tryin to keep my cognitive thinking okay. By allowing me the same access as the 18 states plus Washington DC as well as the four patients that are currently allowed on federal level …it is not harming anyone.
I deserve that same access even though I am in the state of Ohio. I should not have to go die like a wounded animal in the woods. (going to a state that does have medical cannabis laws) where I have no family and a support system.
I am not a drug addict, suffer from mental illness or have any type of criminal record.
I do have my Ohio doctors support , I have my pharmacist support… I have my out-of-state written recommendation from my cannabinoid specialist . I have lived in same place for the decade ive fought for this issue. Here is a video clip of me and my cannabinoid specialist
My neurologist came into my hospital room and told me a year ago that there was nothing that they can do for me anymore except keep me comfortable and treat symptoms. I have massive calcium deposits on my brain. I have pseudo-hypo parathyroidism which has completely disabled me and caused major medical problems such as crippling arthritis ,diseased esophagus, hiatal hernia ….inflamed bowel disease with adhesions wrapped around it…. severe hypocalcaemia…. very high phosphorous.. my blood pressure is all over the map … my heart rate is through the roof. All of this can be proven and backed up. Will you do the right thing and support compassion not corruption?
My future is bleak but I have an opportunity to change things and to protect what brain that is not damaged yet. and most importantly die on my terms.
I CHALLENGE YOU TO SEND THIS TO ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES IN WASHINGTON.
ADDITIONALLY, MS. DAVIS WROTE THE FOLLOWING…..
If anything happens to me I blame my government for not allowing me the same access as my sister state Michigan or the other 17 states and DC …. I want my President to open his heart and allow me to fight for what life I have left with dignity and feel like I belong in this world as well. No ones ever heard me. As a child being abused and molested raped …I tried to tell anyone that would listen I was not heard or protected from age 5 to 12 when someone believed me I was removed to an orphanage. This is just the beginning of how my life spirals I am asking you remove sick people out of this drug war. I can not understand for the life of me how you can do anything you want to smoke a lot of pot do not get caught and you can be president of the United States. But If you do get caught with one joint it can ruin your life. Can we use common sense for drug policy when it comes to cannabis? why can the sister state Michigan get compassion and we don’t? I could go on about my life and I will but not right now. So as you can see there is a way you can save me. If our doctors are smarter now which I believe they are. They are licensed in the state of Ohio… We trust them to write prescriptions / with our lives in their hands anyway why can’t we trust them on determining whether or not their patient can benefit from the use of cannabis as a medicine? DEA will still have their work because people will still break the law. let our law-enforcement get real bad guys those committing domestic violence, violent crimes, home invasions harder drug addictions anything where there is a victim. There has to be a middle ground. I am tired of feeling like I’m a criminal and I don’t deserve to have to live in fear. It is the worst feeling ever. Let me know what you think on the subject. President Obama you are the one president that could change my life forever. What harm does it cause to allow someone like me to use cannabis as a medicine? I should be allowed to use that plant in any form. You could be America’s hero you could be my hero. Please read my open letter to share with your friends I would like you to care enough to stand with me. You all know this drug war is a lie? Have a lot to say tonight. I also want to say I am watching my friends die off one by one and I’m ready when father God calls me home… I don’t have to die right away I believe that with all my heart. Okay I’m done for a while… I may continue my talk if my community is watching ,thank you for being tolerant of me. You guys gave me my voice. Some day you will hear my whole story my life didn’t change until my mid-30s. It’s been a vicious cycle of domestic violence rape home invasion theft..even kidnapping my life has been a nightmare. No one has ever heard me I always fell before things changed. my life is make life movie. I would call it "If Only Heard" I have a strong testimony and willing to share it as well.. God has been a big part of my survival. seems like I had to experience all this to understand so id be a strong servant. my life is in Gods hand as well as our government…
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer took his efforts to legalize industrial hemp production to the Kentucky Farm Bureau annual meeting Thursday in Louisville.http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20121206/NEWS01/312060080/Comer-takes-industrial-hemp-efforts-Ky-Farm-Bureau-convention?nclick_check=1
Oregon medical marijuana advocates in 2006 successfully pushed to give police round-the-clock access to the state’s cardholder registry. Patients with pot figured they wouldn’t be arrested if cops could quickly confirm their status with the program. http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2012/12/medical_marijuana_users_questi.html
YouGov poll is one of the first to ask not whether marijuana use should be legal but what the federal government should do about it now that two states have legalized recreational marijuana use.
Illinois considers legalizing marijuana for medical uses http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-rt-usa-marijuanaillinoisl1e8ms58y-20121128,0,2174223.story
Backward thinking on hemp; Feds must allow states to restart industry
Kentucky is the center of the universe when it comes to bourbon
260.857 Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission — Membership
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said his agency opposes proposals to grow industrial hemp in Kentucky even though he sees the benefits for the agriculture industry.
The federal Office of Drug Control Policy concentrates resources in the Appalachian region because so much marijuana is grown there — often in small plots of fewer than 100 plants that can easily be tended by a single grower. Only California produces more of the clandestine crop than Appalachia.http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-12-05/1-dot-5b-worth-of-marijuana-confiscated-in-appalachia