Leftish

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February 10, 2014 5:11 pm
C-SPAN VIDEO: Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) on the War on Drugs

Wow!  Rep. Steve Cohen from Tennessee tells it like it is on the “dangers of marijuana” and gives us all the truth about America’s longest war (the “War on Drugs”).  This is one of the most well thought-out arguments for decriminalizing marijuana that has probably ever been heard at a Congressional Hearing!

January 4, 2014 8:41 pm

f="http://leftish.tumblr.com/post/72282734753/marijuana-is-a-gateway-drug">Marijuana is a “Gateway Drug”?

This year will be remembered as ground-breaking, in the history of America’s “War on Drugs”.

On January 1, Colorado, became the first state in the union to legalize the selling of Marijuana for Recreational Purposes.

 It is creating a huge hullabaloo.  For the past three days, customers have been lining up around the block, to procure regulated quantities of their (now) legal vice of choice.  Colorado has only authorized a handful of retailers, who previously operated Medical Marijuana Clubs to be the dispensers of Marijuana.  To even work in one of these stores (or to start your own business at some point in the future), you must be a resident of Colorado for at least two years.

Colorado residents are allowed to buy an Ounce a Day.  Visitors to the state can purchase a Quarter Ounce per day.

 An Ounce a Day?  WTF?  That is SO MUCH POT!!  That is “small dealer” levels, IMHO.  Who can smoke that much weed in a day?  Nobody!

 And also, there’s no cross-referencing of the purchasers data.  So an out-of-stater can just go from club to club (or rather, store to store, now), and purchase ¼ Ounce at each store!  And a local can do the same, but in Ounce quantities.

 Also, every citizen is legally allowed to grow 6 plants…and there are no specific laws in place to regulate any of that!  So, in a way, it’s a pot-lover’s bonanza of a free-for-all right now in Colorado!

 But, it’s a start.  The entire nation is focused on this new situation, and monitoring it closely.  We will all be watching to see how this experiment progresses.

There have already been many major changes that have occurred in the state.  For one, the state has hired a Marijuana Czar to oversee all things pot-related, and the Denver Times has hired a full-time “Marijuana” editor, whose sole job is to produce stories about the Marijuana culture.

 But, the biggest news is what this does for the disparity among inmates in Colorado prisons.

It is a well-known fact that Marijuana Usage is about equal between Whites and Blacks in our country, however Whites get arrested and incarcerated at about 1/3 or ¼ the rate.  The prison population is dominated by minorities, many of whom are there for nothing more than possession of a tiny amount of marijuana.

Current statistics show that about 750,000 marijuana arrests are made each year in our country, more than for any other “crime”.

With Colorado’s new decriminalizing laws, there will be less public monies spent on arresting , trying, convicting and incarcerating non-violent Marijuana users, and that money will be freed up, to be used in other areas of the state’s budget, for the good of the public sector.  It will also decrease the racial disparity among prisoners, and reduce the number of poor, black and brown people serving time for inconsequential, minor weed offenses.

Another thing to consider is that when someone is arrested for Marijuana, because it is currently classified as a “Schedule 1” drug offense (the most dangerous class of drugs), that person, no matter how small a quantity they possessed, is now classified as a “felon” for the rest of their life.

When they get out of jail, they will not be allowed to vote.  They will have to declare their status on every job application, loan application, bank account application, rental agreement, etc. for the rest of their lives…all because they were caught with a little weed.

The “War on Drugs” is actually a war on the poor, to provide fodder for the coffers of the rich, who own , manage and/or supply all the prisons in our nation.

Prison construction, and supply is a huge (and growing) industry in this country.  Those corporations who build and supply prisons are making a fortune, selling their over-priced services and goods (from uniforms to foodstuffs) to the numerous prisons that dot our fair land.

And more and more prisons are becoming privately owned, and these new owners will stop at nothing to increase their numbers of new inmates.  They will bribe judges and other officials, they will line the pockets of congress people, both state and national, and they will hesitate at nothing to bilk more money from the public sector to pay for the incarceration and housing of that class of  “dangerous criminals”, known as marijuana users.

For these reasons, this new law will totally affect both the prison population in Colorado, and the money that the state will no longer need to house these non-violent offenders.

Colorado is also slated to receive a windfall of funds in other ways, besides the extra funds that will be generated by eliminating the cost of arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating potheads.

In just the first three days, the state has already gained huge revenues from the hefty taxes that they have imposed on these new marijuana sales.

 And let’s not forget the Tourism!  I mean, seriously, what pot-smoker wouldn’t now consider Colorado as an exciting tourist destination?  I know I’m certainly thinking about it!

Another thing to consider is this.  This new law will free up perfectly good citizens to live a life without fear of acquiring a criminal record!  Just think, what might have happened to the lives of any of our last three Presidents, if when they had smoked pot (as they all have admitted to) they had been busted?  What a waste it would have been if Bill Clinton or Barack Obama had been thwarted from pursuing a career in Politics, because they had been busted for possession of a wee bit of the happy weed?  No comment on George W Bush (we might have been better off if HE had been busted, ha ha)!  But that would never have happened.  Bush’ family was rich, and they would have had no problem getting him off, without so much as a criminal record.  But you get the point I’m making.  Pefectly talented people, who are not wealthy enough to fight such a case, have had their entire lives ruined by our country’s archaic laws concerning marijuana possession.

So, now, what does the opposition hold up as an argument against this being a good model for other states to embrace?

Some people will claim that marijuana will make you stupid, or in a daze.  Well, it turns out that there are DIFFERENT STRAINS of marijuana, that do different things.  I personally prefer the stony, creative, mental high to the knocked out stupor, myself, but for many people who use marijuana to relieve pain, they WANT to be knocked out….they just shouldn’t drive while under the influence!  But that’s a no-brainer.  Most users know their capacities, and the few number of deaths EVER being attributed to marijuana usage prove that.

If you have only tried pot once, or have only ever smoked one type of pot, you might not realize that it is kind of like different types of wine.  I have had unbelievable “realizations” while under the influence of the heady variety of weedy, as have numerous other artists, musicians, authors, actors, and free-thinkers in just about ever field of life.  So don’t assume that all marijuana is the same, and that all types of weed produce the exact same results.  Different strains do different things…enough said.

And the other argument you hear againt Marijuana is that it is highly dangerous m because it is a “Gateway Drug”.

n my opinion that argument only further HIGHLIGHTS the reason to make it legal!

Marijuana has only ever been a “Gateway Drug” because it has been sold on the Black Market for all these years.  Often, dealers in one substance will offer other choices…i.e.  they will stock harder drugs as well as Marijuana.  I, personally, in close to 50 years of smoking pot, have never encountered pot dealers selling anything but pot, but I have lived in hip, rural areas of the country, mostly, where hard drugs were not popular.  But, I suppose, in other places, one can purchase a smorgasbord of choices from your local dealer, and that fact, and ONLY that fact, is what gives any credence to the idea that Marijuana is a “gateway drug”…

Therefore, I conclude, that if we take Marijuana out of the Black Market,  and make it available in stores that specialize in only selling Marijuana, it will no longer make sense to classify it as a “Gateway Drug”, because it will not lead to anything other than the smoking of more pot.

 End of story.

November 20, 2012 7:30 pm
Don't Sentence Montana Medical Cannabis Grower To 80 Years In Prison!
Chris Williams Montana Medical Marijuana Grower sentenced to 80 yearsChris Williams has been sentenced to a lifetime in prison for operating a medical marijuana business in Montana — one of the 18 states where medical cannabis is perfectly legal. How is this justice?

Many people with terminal illnesses rely on medical marijuana to ease their pain. In 18 states, including Montana, it is legal for growers to sell marijuana to those with prescriptions. So why did federal police recently arrest a provider in Montana — and sentence him to 80 years in prison?  

Chris Williams claims that he did nothing wrong. As a co-owner of Montana Cannabis, he worked with his community to ensure that his supply was going to the people who needed it for their health. Williams frequently gave property tours to law enforcement officials, politicians, and community leaders. Does that sound like someone engaged in illicit activity?

No matter your personal feelings on marijuana, it is deeply unjust that Williams was unable to use Montana’s statewide legalization of medical marijuana as a defense in his trial. Williams now faces 80 years in prison, away from his business and his teenaged son. This is far more severe than the punishments given to many convicted sex offenders.

Chris Williams should not have to suffer for the disconnect between federal and state law on this issue.
October 7, 2012 5:04 pm

f="http://leftish.tumblr.com/post/33123173891/talk-about-redistribution-of-wealth">Talk about “redistribution of wealth”….

I can’t think of ANYTHING that would redistribute wealth more than Legalizing Marijuana!

I mean, seriously, do you KNOW how many people would THRIVE with the legalization? People who are growers, people who own or work in cannabis clubs, people who own gardening companies, or auto showrooms, or gift shops, or (soon to be on every corner) cannabis cafés, and all kinds of industries that haven’t even been CONCEIVED OF yet!  I mean, it is already a booming industry here in California, where we only have Medical Marijuana!

Just picture it!  If Marijuana becomes fully legal (not just Medical) in COLORADO (which looks very likely), do you realize how many people will RELOCATE there?  The Tourism industry will probably triple, at LEAST!  People would travel from all over the world to check it out!  I mean, I know I WILL!!  Amsterdam in the USA, YES!!

And then think of all the lawyers, bail bondsmen, cops, judges, uniform companies, prison food and drug supply companies, prison gear companies, multi-million dollar contractors who build all these new prisons (they think they need)…not to mention all the big corporations that now use Prison Labor (at pennies per hour) for their Customer Service Call Centers!

Yup!  I see a definite redistribution of wealth possible here…and I gotta say — I’m LIKING it!

GO COLORADO!!

June 21, 2012 8:17 pm
—The Miracle Crop of Hemp—

HEMP FACTS 

1) Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginnings of pottery. The Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC.

2) Presidents Washington and Jefferson both grew hemp. Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early Republic. The federal government subsidized hemp during the Second World War and US farmers grew about a million acres of hemp as part of that program. 

3) Hemp Seed is far more nutritious than even soybean, contains more essential fatty acids than any other source, is second only to soybeans in complete protein (but is more digestible by humans), is high in B-vitamins, and is 35% dietary fiber. Hemp seed is not psychoactive and cannot be used as a drug. See TestPledge.com 

4) The bark of the hemp stalk contains bast fibers which are among the Earth’s longest natural soft fibers and are also rich in cellulose; the cellulose and hemi-cellulose in its inner woody core are called hurds. Hemp stalk is not psychoactive. Hemp fiber is longer, stronger, more absorbent and more insulative than cotton fiber. 

5) According to the Department of Energy, hemp as a biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures of all hemp products. The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of bio-fuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power. 

6) Hemp grows well without herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides. Almost half of the agricultural chemicals used on US crops are applied to cotton. 

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE…

June 12, 2012 3:04 pm
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps CEO Arrested for Hemp Action Outside White House

Dr. Bronner’s CEO Arrested for Hemp Action Outside White House

The CEO of the celebrated U.S. hygiene products company Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps was arrested outside of the White House on Monday protesting the U.S. ban on industrial hemp farming. David Bronner locked himself inside a steel cage along with several hemp plants that he harvested for oil.

David Bronner: “We spend over $100,000 a year buying hemp seed oil from Canadians, from Canadian farmers. We’ve been trying over 10 years to be able to grow and purchase hemp seed oil from American farmers, and we’re just getting really frustrated with Obama, who as a state senator from Illinois voted twice for industrial hemp cultivation, but as a president has ignored us completely. This is not a drug. This is like a poppy seed bagel. You know the poppy seed comes from the bread seed poppy, a non-drug cultivar of the opium poppy. It’s the same thing with industrial hemp. The rest of the world is moving on — Canada, China, Europe — and American farmers are just cut out.”

Bronner was detained after several hours inside the cage when police broke open the lock.

[NOTE* from Leftish:  Last year I was musing over the change of products over the years, and realized that Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap is the ONE “health food product” that I have been using consistently, and exclusively since 1967, when I first became vegetarian, and got into “Health Food”.  I swear by this product.  Yay for David Bronner!]

May 31, 2012 1:04 pm

f="http://leftish.tumblr.com/post/24144351715/libertarian-penn-gillette-explains-his-views-on">Libertarian, Penn Gillette explains his views on Legalization

"I think you should always ask the question of if you can solve a problem with ‘more freedom’, instead of less.

I believe, because I’m a nut, that if you don’t have the right to put whatever you want in your body, you’re not living in a free society. I would like to see everything legal. I mean, I don’t like to do ‘pragmatic’, as opposed to ‘moral arguments’, but we are unable to keep drugs out of prison. That means that the level of draconian police state that happens in prisons right now, still won’t work to stop drugs.  So that means that all we’re doing is giving a huge amount of money to bad people.

…I would be in favor of at least trying legalizing all drugs, because I think freedom means the freedom to be stupid.  No one needs freedom to do the right thing.  No one needs freedom to do the smart thing.  We need freedom to screw up our lives, and do stupid things, and I think everybody deserves that right.”

~ Penn Gillette, on Current TV’s “The Young Turks”

May 20, 2012 1:46 pm
George Washington grew hemp.  In fact, it used to be ACCEPTED as SO IMPORTANT to the economy that every farmer was REQUIRED to grow HEMP, and could even PAY THEIR TAXES WITH IT!
So, when we talk about “Legalization”, the correct term would actually be “RE-Legalization”…
Just in case you didn’t know…here’s some more HEMP INFO…
(CLICK the PHOTO - it links to a different HEMP FACT site)

George Washington grew hemp.  In fact, it used to be ACCEPTED as SO IMPORTANT to the economy that every farmer was REQUIRED to grow HEMP, and could even PAY THEIR TAXES WITH IT!

So, when we talk about “Legalization”, the correct term would actually be “RE-Legalization”…

Just in case you didn’t know…here’s some more HEMP INFO…

(CLICK the PHOTO - it links to a different HEMP FACT site)

May 16, 2012 4:54 pm
Hempcrete, Made From Hemp, Used To Build Houses
Imagine you had a building material that was energy-efficient, non-toxic and resistant to mold, insects and fire. The material may even have a higher R-value, or thermal resistance, than concrete, a claim that is still being investigated. The only problem? The base of the Hempcrete creation is hemp, which comes from the cannabis sativa plant — the same one that produces marijuana, which is a federally banned substance. Because of this, industrial hemp production is illegal in the United States.
Still, the Hempcrete mixture of hemp, lime and water is being used to some extent for construction jobs across America. One of the companies working with Hempcrete is Hemp Technologies, a construction company based in North Carolina that is adamant about the advantages of building using Hempcrete. They’ve built homes out of hemp in Hawaii, Texas, Idaho and North Carolina, where they are currently working on a project known as “NauHaus.”
Throughout Europe, the use of hemp for construction purposes has spread across many countries. “We got started about three years ago and I was looking for sustainable building products, Hemp Technologies co-founder David Madera told GOOD Design. [Co-founder Greg Flavall] was in Europe, found Hempcrete and we basically did a tour of Europe and looked at everything that they had done in the U.K., France, Belgium, and Switzerland. We did our first seminar in 2009, and it was the most important thing that helped promote it.”
READ ENTIRE ARTICLE…

Hempcrete, Made From Hemp, Used To Build Houses

Imagine you had a building material that was energy-efficient, non-toxic and resistant to mold, insects and fire. The material may even have a higher R-value, or thermal resistance, than concrete, a claim that is still being investigated. The only problem? The base of the Hempcrete creation is hemp, which comes from the cannabis sativa plant — the same one that produces marijuana, which is a federally banned substance. Because of this, industrial hemp production is illegal in the United States.

Still, the Hempcrete mixture of hemp, lime and water is being used to some extent for construction jobs across America. One of the companies working with Hempcrete is Hemp Technologies, a construction company based in North Carolina that is adamant about the advantages of building using Hempcrete. They’ve built homes out of hemp in Hawaii, Texas, Idaho and North Carolina, where they are currently working on a project known as “NauHaus.”

Throughout Europe, the use of hemp for construction purposes has spread across many countries. “We got started about three years ago and I was looking for sustainable building products, Hemp Technologies co-founder David Madera told GOOD Design. [Co-founder Greg Flavall] was in Europe, found Hempcrete and we basically did a tour of Europe and looked at everything that they had done in the U.K., France, Belgium, and Switzerland. We did our first seminar in 2009, and it was the most important thing that helped promote it.”

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE…

April 22, 2012 12:59 am June 12, 2011 1:29 pm
Connecticut decriminalizes marijuana possession

Hartford - Possession of small amount of marijuana is no longer a crime in Connecticut, but now a minor offense punishable by fine. This concludes the two-year old fight for decriminalizing marijuana in the state.

In January 2009, NORML announced that a bill asking for reclassification of the possession of marijuana in small amounts, from ‘misdemeanor’ to ‘infraction’, had been presented to Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Judiciary. Known as Senate Bill 349, this request to amend the state law regarding marijuana’s possession such that adults caught in possession of up to one ounce of marijuana would have to face a small fine instead of criminal charges that, if proven, could result in up to one year of imprisonment beside a thousand dollars in fine. The Connecticut State Nurses Association, by then, had already started gathering public support for a new law that would allow patients access to safe amounts of marijuana for therapeutic purposes.

This week, readers on Gawker saw the “Good News” caption under the photo showing a man reaping a cannabis plant. The news brief wrote about Connecticut becoming the 13th American state to decriminalize marijuana as the new legislation was passed in the House of Representatives. The new law specifies that possessing half-an-ounce, or less, of marijuana (pot) for the first time will cost a monetary fine of $150—the amount of fine increasing with subsequent instances of the substance’s possession. For under-age offenders (less than 21 years of age), suspension of their driver’s license for two months also applies under the new law.
The Business Insider adds details of the new legislation of marijuana’s possession in Connecticut by which repeat offenders can get fined a maximum of $500 per offense. According to an estimate by the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis, the new law will save the state around a million dollars as well as attract at least $600,000 in fines.


Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/307842#ixzz1P5yof1uT

[NOTE* from Leftish: Always the profitability angle.]

May 14, 2011 2:18 am
Caught with a Bag of Weed? It Could Cost You More Than You Think

And the cost to tax payers? $1 billion a year.

January 26, 2008  |   What’s the current price for a bag of weed? According to the latest figures from the FBI, the human cost is roughly 739,000 a year.

That’s the number of American citizens arrested in 2006 for possessing small amounts of pot. (Another 91,000 were charged with marijuana-related felonies.) The figure is the highest annual total ever recorded, and is nearly double the number of citizens busted for pot fifteen years ago.

via alternet.org

[NOTE*: Even though this article is a few years old, and the statistics aren’t quite current, it’s still, good food for thought.]

Read more…

May 13, 2011 11:18 am

THE MANY USES OF HEMP

Legal Hemp Growers in the UK give overview of the many uses of the Cannabis Plant, from insulation, to clothing, boots, cars and car parts and much more.

It is criminal that, in the U.S. this valuable tool is outlawed, rather than utilized!

Did you know that buildings made with hemp insulation do not need to be heated or cooled?  Watch this 5 minute clip to find out more.  

Did you ever ask yourself, “Why is this plant not being used?”

May 11, 2011 4:43 pm April 20, 2011 10:23 pm
In honor of 420: The Many Uses of Hemp

In honor of 420: The Many Uses of Hemp