Who Will Win The War On Drugs

The present trend in the legalization of marijuana would seem to indicate that the Feds are losing the war against marijuana. With two states legalizing the drug for recreational purposes and twenty states, plus our nations Capitol, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes and the latest Gallup poll now showing 58% of Americans favor legalization you would think so. But I am not so sure. I still think the Feds have a few cards up their sleeves. Recently Reason Magazine reported that the NSA has been sharing information with local and federal law enforcement about illegal drug activity obtained through their advanced surveillance of our internet and phone usage and then telling the law enforcement authorities not to reveal the source. This alone is disturbing, but those we elected to protect our freedom through legislation don’t seem to believe we have the right to be left alone and have any privacy and there has been very little public outcry about it. Like I have said before, they view silence as approval and that only makes them more bold. There has not been much in the news about the new laser powered molecular scanners that can tell what you had for breakfast from 50 meters away but I am sure they are being improved and made more portable. Now the IRS will have access to all of our medical records because of the affordable health care act. Privacy is becoming a thing of the past and those we have elected to represent us increasingly see everyday Americans as a threat. Remember how the Department of Homeland Security has been stockpiling ammunition. I am not sure what the intentions of this administration are but so far they seem to tell us one thing and then do another, like when President Obama said that he would leave medical marijuana alone and then escalated the raids on state legal distributors. Soon the government may have what they need to enforce the war on drugs successfully but I don’t know if people will tolerate that level of oppression. I do know that the government has a long memory and they are not very forgiving. The Gallup poll showing 58% approval of legalization does give me hope though. No matter how much the Feds want to control our lives, they still have to get re-elected.

Randy Johnson

MPP Takes On The NFL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is being admonished by MarijuanaPolicy.org with a billboard outside of Mile High Stadium in Denver, CO, urging fans and players to celebrate with a safer alternative to alcohol, according to a story by Tully Corcoran at Fox Sports News. MPP called out Goodell for punishing players who use marijuana which is a safer alternative to alcohol. MPP’s press release included this statement. “For years, the NFL has been punishing players for using marijuana despite the fact that it is far less harmful than alcohol, a substance widely embraced by the league,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The league would never punish a player simply for having a couple beers, so why does it penalize them for using a substance that is less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violence?  There is also a Change.org petition initiated by MPP and directed at Roger Goodell to change the NFL drug policy

The NFL has warned the Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks that NFL policy about marijuana has not changed, “Its Legal” will not be a valid excuse. Sadly the NFL is facing another problem with lawsuits brought against them because of concussions brought on by head trauma. Ironically marijuana may end up being a key tool to prevent permanent brain damage associated with head trauma.

It is a shame that the MPP’s ad at the Brickyard 500 race in Indianapolis, IN was pulled due to pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. MPP needs our support in its publicity campaign, to gain acceptance for users of marijuana. These ads are not cheap, but I believe they are a vital tool to reach people who would not ordinarily listen to arguments about legalization and acceptance of marijuana in society, and what could be a better place to do that than sporting events where alcohol is advertised or served.

Randy Johnson

Stop Killing People For Using Marijuana

I keep finding stories about people killed over marijuana possession. Eighteen year old Ramarley Graham was shot to death by officer Richard Haste in his Grandmother’s bathroom while allegedly trying to flush a dime bag of marijuana down the toilet after New York City police saw him make the purchase and followed him to his residence. A video shows Graham walking to the residence and entering with police running up to the door a few seconds later, where they unsuccessfully try to kick the door in. They moved around to the rear of the residence and finally gained entrance by breaking in. Also in the home at the time were his Grandmother, Patricia Hartley and six-year-old brother. Several stories have evolved from the initial event such as that Graham had a gun that was never found and that Graham had struggled with the police which turns out not to be the case according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The indictment of the officer involved in the shooting has been dropped because the Grand Jury was not informed that fellow officers had told Haste that Graham was armed. Graham’s Grandmother was treated badly after her grandson was shot The grandmother, 58 years of age and 85 pounds, was forced into a chair and her arm twisted while police called her a f—ing liar for covering for her grandson, and hauled her in for questioning for 7 hours, while she was denied heart medicine and medical treatment and officers delayed her lawyer from seeing her for 90 minutes.

Since police have acknowledged watching the hand to hand drug buy, I am certain they knew it was not a large quantity of drugs. It was obviously a personal use, small time drug buy which brings us to the question of why it was so important to break into a home and shoot someone over a small amount of marijuana. Is it so important for society to eliminate drug use that they will do so at all cost, even killing people? While I do fault the police, for this tragic over use of authority, they should not stand alone in fault here. Also culpable are the Police Commissioner, and all the elected officials from the mayor all the way up to Congress and President Obama who played a role in directing police to pursue small time drug buyers and users with such aggression. The police in this case were likely just following a directive that came from someone far above their pay grade. That does not excuse their behavior but it does shed a little light on a much larger problem that starts with Congress and The Office of The President and filters down to the poor and people of color that are preferred targets in this war on drugs. While the Office of the President no longer calls this a war on drugs, the tactics have not changed where police are urged to aggressively pursue drug crimes through Congress making military weapons and equipment available to local police departments for free or drastically reduced prices and offering grants for police to train for and interdict drug use. More and more our fourth amendment rights are circumvented or ignored while judges rule that the end justifies the means in this war on drugs.

But what about the people caught up in this horrible, hateful and unjust war. The victims like Ramarley Graham, or his Grandmother or his younger brother. Was it just to kill this man just because he liked marijuana. At his age purchasing alcohol would have been just as illegal, but it is very unlikely he would have been shot over a six-pack. Did his grandmother deserve the abuse she received after watching her grandson being killed by police. The saddest part of this story is that it is just not that uncommon. It breaks my heart to think that society supports this kind of treatment of our fellow Americans at the hands of those we trust to serve and protect us, from our local police all the way up to The President, but that is exactly what is happening. Without public outcry in defense of those abused by our justice system, our leaders see silence as approval. When we vote them back into office after supporting this kind of behavior, they think we approve. We are all guilty of what happened to Ramarley Graham and others like him when we don’t rise up in defense of those abused by the justice system. There is no justification for ruining people’s lives and killing them because of marijuana. Call your Mayor, your Congressman and Senator, and call The White House and tell them you want this to stop, unless you approve.

Randy Johnson

http://reason.com/blog/2012/02/06/surveillance-footage-shows-nypd-breaking

http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/24/bronx-council-member-blames-racial-profi

http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/01/ramarley-grahams-family-suing-over-killi

Censorship Sucks At Nascar Brickyard 400 Event

An ad promoting marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol from the Marijuana Policy Project, was aired outside the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The ad was scheduled to air 72 times but was pulled early because of pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. It seems ironic to me that with the massive amount of alcohol served at Nascar events and the propensity for alcohol related advertising at Nascar events and alcohol related sponsors of race car teams associated with Nascar and the history of Nascar being associated with alcohol prohibition, that a pro marijuana ad would be deemed unsuitable at a family oriented event.

In an article form NYDailyNews, Calvina Fay stated,“This campaign falsely claims marijuana is safer than alcohol and promotes  illicit drug use in a state where marijuana is illegal,” Calvina Fay, executive  director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs, said  in a statement. “It is irresponsible marketing and I commend Grazie Media for  their swift action towards the removal of this ad,” concluded Fay.

And in rebuttal, Mason Tvert from Marijuana Policy Project, that produced the ad and purchased the air time from Grazie Media replied, 

Tvert told the Daily News that Fay’s claim that marijuana is more harmful  than alcohol “absolutely absurd.”

“We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than  alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled,” Tvert said.  “If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to ‘save our society from drugs,’  why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is  far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It  is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana  prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry  to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such  reefer madness.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pro-pot-nascar-ad-pulled-brickyard-400-article-1.1410215#ixzz2aFnHuhtN

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pro-pot-nascar-ad-pulled-brickyard-400-article-1.1410215#ixzz2aFm3CuNm

http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/26/marijuana-ad-to-air-at-nascar-races

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/26/marijuana-ad-nascar-indianapolis/2591313/

Randy Johnson

White House Drug Policy Is Hipocritical At Best

The Obama administration’s new drug policy is full of hypocrisy. First of all the basic premise is that any one who uses drugs must be ill and fixed by society whether they like it or not. Individual users will be tried in drug courts where mandatory rehabilitation will be the preferred choice of punishment with incarceration as the backup plan. The supply chain will still face the same punishment of paramilitary raids, incarceration and confiscation of property even if they are following state law as is the case for medical marijuana in the 18 states and Washington DC where medical marijuana is legal as well as Colorado and Washington, where marijuana has been legalized for recreational purposes. The will of the voting public is ignored. The White House still steadfastly refuses to consider that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol and separated from the harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and LSD, even though statistics and medical science shows that marijuana is far safer than alcohol or tobacco. Whenever the government discusses the harms from drugs to society, it is always drugs in aggregate or meth or one the harder drugs but never marijuana alone, because they know preaching about how harmful marijuana is to society is unbelievable. Most all of society knows that the reported harm to society from marijuana has been grossly overstated.  Lacking in the view of White House policy is that alcohol is statistically the worst drug in America. Granted tobacco kills more people each year, but alcohol has the added stigma of social destruction in the form of violent crime and traffic fatalities that are not associated with the other drugs to such a great degree. A Department of Justice report on violence related emergency room visits shows that alcohol is the most violence related drug in America by a wide margin where the report states, “Almost all of the alcohol/drug citations on the hospital records reflected alcohol involvement. Drugs were cited on the hospital record in less than 1% of all violence-related injuries treated”.

. Yet marijuana is demonized as a horrible menace to society by keeping it listed as a schedule one drug, on par with heroin, codeine and morphine even though it is not usually associated with addiction. Marijuana users have been stripped of their second amendment rights without trial or representation even though violence is not normally associated with its use. According to a study about traffic fatalities, states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The study did not confirm the reason for the reduction in fatalities but speculated that it may be caused by people substituting marijuana for alcohol. In contrast, alcohol kills more Americans every year than all illegal drugs combined and the number of people killed by marijuana could easily be counted on one hand. Evidence that would show marijuana to be beneficial as medicine is ignored even though a plethora of evidence showing marijuana to be an effective medicine is currently available and the Federal government owns patents on medical marijuana that detail how marijuana can be an effective treatment for various ailments such as wasting, seizures and cancer. Evidence showing marijuana as a safer libation than alcohol is ignored as if it were non-existent and the harm to society from alcohol is ignored. President Obama even has a brewery in the basement of the White House where he has his own beer brewed. If people were to choose to grow their own marijuana to forego the black market, they risk loosing their home, their children, their money and their freedom. That’s quite a risk for choosing to use a safer drug than the one Obama brews in the White House. Recently the Justice Department caught HSBC in a money laundering scheme with the Mexican and Columbian drug cartels. HSBC had been laundering billions of dollars for the cartels over a 15 year period and were caught red-handed. Instead of confiscating the money and prosecuting the bank executives that were responsible, the Justice Department took 30 billion dollars and let HSBC punish the responsible banking executives by deferring their bonuses for five years. They didn’t lose their bonuses, they were just put in an interest bearing account for five years as their punishment. Nobody went to jail and the justice Department did the same thing that HSBC did, they took money to look the other way. The disparity of justice is staggering where the poor and people of color are disproportionately searched, arrested and incarcerated  than the wealthy and white population. We still have people serving life sentences for possession of marijuana, and people loosing millions of dollars in property and their freedom for sales of marijuana that are legal under state law and President Obama, “an admitted pot head” is brewing a more dangerous drug in the basement of the White House. People are still having their children removed from their custody for simple possession or use of marijuana. Federal law still requires that any businesses with a contract with the government to drug test as a condition of employment and the required test doesn’t even show if the person is impaired, only that they have used recently as a way to punish people who would not otherwise be caught by denying them employment. I believe the federal government is protecting businesses such as the drug testing industry, the drug rehab industry, the prison industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol industry, the cotton industry, the timber industry, the petrochemical industry and many others from the competition or loss they would incur if free people were allowed to choose a safer alternative to alcohol. We have the largest per capita prison population on earth as a result of this failed war on drugs with special emphasis on marijuana. Our constitutional rights against illegal searches have been circumvented and we are denied the right to pursue freedom and happiness and make decisions about our own health and safety. Hateful, hurtful, hypocrisy and a total disregard for personal freedom is what I see. End the war against Americans who choose a safer drug than alcohol. Come on Barry, was marijuana use a just cause for the government ruining people’s lives when you were Chooming with your friends, riding around totally absorbed, doing roof hits and intercepts? Was it so detrimental to your life that it kept you from reaching your goal of being President and chief hypocrite in the war against marijuana?

Randy Johnson

NSA Surveillace Is Unacceptable

There are a large number of our elected officials in Congress and The President who believe that they are justified in maintaining the surveillance of our electronic communications and internet searches along with our banking records and medical records. Their justification seems to swing on the premise that they are protecting us from terrorist threats. My question is what is going to protect us from them?

A majority of them seem to believe that continuing the blatantly racist and useless war against marijuana is a good idea. I’m not saying that marijuana should not be regulated, but the Federal Government has a long history of favoring rich industry in its actions and that is what I believe is the primary motivation for continuing their failed marijuana policy. I want the Federal Government out of the business of ruining people’s lives over marijuana. Let states decide how marijuana should be regulated.

There is sufficient evidence now showing that marijuana is far safer than alcohol or tobacco and it has a very promising place in future medicine, yet those we have elected to lead us regularly ignore and suppress any evidence showing marijuana to be beneficial to society. Their action only serves to protect industries that would be negatively effected by legal marijuana and hemp. Most Americans would benefit from a well-regulated marijuana and hemp market when considering how useful the marijuana plant can be. Hemp for instance is one of the best plants to make biofuel and petrochemical products and is carbon neutral. It can also be made into building products such as beams and sheathing to replace lumber and is a fine source of fiber for paper. It can also be made into clothing and hemp seeds have all the essential oils and nutrients for human health and have been used for human and animal food for thousands of years. The medicinal uses of marijuana alone should be enough of a reason to change the restrictions on marijuana use in the Controlled Substances Act, but Congress and the President seem bent on protecting the pharmaceutical industry and others. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities, likely due to people substituting marijuana for alcohol. If marijuana was available for recreational use those traffic fatality reduction statistics would likely be even more dramatic.

Even if all this were not true, allowing adults to celebrate with a libation different from alcohol should not be illegal as long as it caused no more harm to society than alcohol. Alcohol causes far more harm to society than all illegal drugs combined and the harm from marijuana is a miniscule part of that harm to society. When the overwhelming racial bias in the prosecution of the war on drugs is factored in, I believe our freedom is in serious jeopardy. Until our government has a long history of protecting our freedom, instead of selling us out for profit, I for one want the surveillance stopped.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/house-committee-holds-hearing-on-nsa-surveillance-programs/2013/07/17/ffc3056c-eee3-11e2-9008-61e94a7ea20d_story.html

http://www.aclu.org/billions-dollars-wasted-racially-biased-arrests

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/16/marijuana-legalization-kids-parents/2519339/

http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Other/ALC_INT.HTM

http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/08/a-group-of-drug-war-profiteers-are-askin

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/VRITHED.PDF

http://www.jackherer.com/

http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf

Randy Johnson

Is Congress Above The Law

The war against marijuana is more about what is good and beneficial to people and society about marijuana and protecting existing industries from competition than the health risks or damage to society from its use.
Consider hemp, which is one of the best feed stocks for biofuel or ethanol production. We could grow enough hemp to rival our petroleum production and it is carbon neutral. Hemp can also be used to make fabric for clothing and does not require the vast amount of chemicals used in cotton production. Over 50% of all agricultural chemicals, such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer are used in cotton production. Hemp can also be made into sulfur free charcoal to be used to fire coal-fired power plants, and again it is carbon neutral. It can be made into building materials such as sheathing to replace plywood and beams to replace lumber, saving our forests that actually capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Henry Ford once made a car from hemp based plastic that was said to be stronger than steel when struck with a hammer and it ran on biofuel made from hemp. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential oils and nutrients that are necessary for human health and have been used as food for people and livestock for thousands of years. Hemp was so vital to the development of our nation that up until a hundred years ago we had laws mandating that farmers grow hemp and it was even legal tender for a time in our nations history.
As far as smoked marijuana or marijuana edibles, marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. It has been found to be effective in treating pain, spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, wasting, post traumatic stress, cancer and more, yet our government steadfastly ignores all of this evidence, even though they hold a patent on marijuana that describes in detail how marijuana is efficacious in treating cancer. Could they be protecting the pharmaceutical industry? States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The study did not determine the reason for this drop in traffic fatalities but speculated that it may be because people may have been substituting marijuana for alcohol. If that turns out to be the case, recreational marijuana may have an even greater effect on reducing traffic fatalities. Marijuana is far safer for individuals and society, than alcohol or tobacco from a health viewpoint and does not have the strong association with violence that alcohol has.
Based on what is currently known about marijuana, the arguments our government uses to support marijuana prohibition are baseless and just plain wrong. The only thing that makes any sense to me is that our government is protecting certain businesses from competition or loss from legal marijuana and hemp. But then again, why would you expect anything else from the corrupt government we have that believes they are above the law, the Constitution and the will of the people?
http://www.jackherer.com/
http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php
http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf
https://itsmycountrytoo.org/laws-built-on-lies/
http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/08/a-group-of-drug-war-profiteers-are-askin
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/VRITHED.PDF
Randy Johnson

Marijuana Is Not For Children Or Maybe It Is

Recently there were several stories in the news of children ingesting edible marijuana products, some requiring medical treatment. The articles generally called this poisoning, yet the treatment indicated the patients were watched and after several hours of rest, they were released and were fine with no further complications. Poisoning is a pretty strong term for marijuana ingestion as it would likely be impossible to produce a life threatening condition by ingesting marijuana. DEA Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, once declared after hearing extensive testimony from doctors and patients on the efficacy of marijuana as medicine that;

15. In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.

16. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.” http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

While marijuana may not harm a child by an incidental or accidental ingestion, its effect on the developing brain is not well understood and children should not have access to marijuana. Just like parents should not allow children to consume alcohol and tobacco, the use of marijuana needs to be restricted to adults. Children lack the maturity and experience to deal with intoxicating substances and the health risks to children’s developing brains is just too great a risk. Parents or grandparents that use marijuana, with children in the home should be cognizant that edible marijuana products are a strong temptation for children and their access should be restricted. You wouldn’t want your child raiding your liquor cabinet or smoking your cigarettes and the same precautions should apply to your marijuana as well.

http://healthyliving.msn.com/pregnancy-parenting/kids-health/kids-poisoned-by-medical-marijuana-study-finds-1

Often marijuana prohibition advocates use the argument that marijuana needs to remain illegal to protect the children. An article by William Cooke from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, titled ” Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children – an argument for drug legalization”, highlights the errors in that argument. Among his observations are that marijuana use among children is actually lower in Holland where people can use marijuana without being arrested, because the people selling the marijuana are legitimate business people who want to preserve their business and therefore will not break the law and sell to minors. While there will always be people who will help minors gain access to marijuana just like people give alcohol and cigarettes to children. Children as a general rule cannot purchase alcohol or tobacco from the store. Legal outlets have a strong incentive to check ages of young customers to protect their business. The article also discusses the racial beginnings of anti-marijuana laws and the racial bias in todays enforcement where an inordinate number of Black and Latino families are torn apart by racial profiling and incarceration in the war on drugs. Also the article discusses the fact that most drug related violence and gangs that harm children would go away if drugs were legalized. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a fine organization of law enforcement officers, judges and others in the criminal justice system that advocate for an end to the failed war on drugs. This article at http://www.leap.cc/ is an excellent read. http://copssaylegalize.blogspot.com/2009/12/wont-somebody-please-think-of-children.html
Update:
As a desperate attempt to save their child who was experiencing epileptic seizures, sometimes up to 250 a day where he would stop breathing until the seizure was over, these parents decided to try medical marijuana to help their child. They had tried 17 different medications and treatments that didn’t work and one doctor recommended medical marijuana. A group of brothers who own a medical marijuana store in Colorado have been growing a special strain of marijuana that is very low in THC especially for him and he has been seizure free now for 9 months. These conservative, Christian parents believe marijuana has saved their child’s life.
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/medical-marijuana-can-help-sick-kids-some-worry-about-risks-6C10506407

Happy Independence Day

July 4th marks the birth of our nation. Brave men risked their lives, their fortunes and the lives of their families in an act of treason by sending our Declaration of Independence to King George III and declaring that they would no longer tolerate the acts of tyranny perpetuated by royal dictate from a king that did not recognize their rights. It listed several basic human rights that had been violated and declared that some of our rights were ordained by God and therefore could not be taken away by men. They declared that all men are created equal and that when governments become hostile to basic human rights, and after long suffrage, men have the right and obligation to throw off those bonds and form their own government and that those who govern do so by the consent of the governed. Their actions set the stage for what would become the greatest nation on earth, an economic and military superpower and a beacon for freedom and democracy. We have every right to be proud of America and all that it stands for.

It is worth noting though, that not all Americans share the same reverence for this holiday celebrating our freedom, because not all of them received their freedom as a result of the birth of our nation. The American Indians certainly have no reason to celebrate the birth of a nation that destroyed their way of life and stole the land that had been passed down to them through countless generations. The blacks in this country generally celebrate their independence on Emancipation Proclamation Day, when slavery was abolished. Even then they had to wait and suffer before they were allowed to vote and faced decades of persecution and discrimination because of racial prejudice and hatred. Women’s right to vote came years later. Although our Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, it has taken us 237 years to get to where we are today and still people are struggling for equal treatment and freedom under the law.

The Edward Snowden affair highlights what the founders of our nation were fighting, a government that has lost its way and become openly hostile to the rights of its citizens. In direct violation of our 4th amendment rights of privacy and guarantees against illegal searches, our government has decided it is ok to spy on us and believes we have no right to even know about it, much less question their motives or ask how they justify such actions. Congress swore an oath to support and defend our Constitution, yet they have become openly hostile to protecting our rights and the rule of law that they are obligated to uphold. Another battle in the assault on our 4th amendment rights is the war against marijuana where now the Supreme court says that dogs may authorize searches and paramilitary raids on homes and helicopter and drone surveillance have become all too common, just for choosing a drug that is not alcohol. A drug that is safer for the individual and society than alcohol, yet those who use marijuana are still treated as enemies of the United States. They are persecuted and prosecuted at every opportunity and people of color are still arrested and incarcerated at a grossly disproportionate rate.

We are still one of the most free nations on earth but we seem to be going in the wrong direction and loosing freedom to a government bent on gaining knowledge of all parts of our lives and control of all of our actions. More and more we are being treated as though we are the enemy, yet we are The United States of America, and those that govern us are supposed to represent us and govern by our consent. I just hope it is not too late to preserve our nation and the freedom that so many of our brave men and women have fought for. We still have a long way to go before we are all free. Lets keep our eyes on the prize.
http://reason.com/archives/2013/07/03/the-surveillance-state-isnt-coming-its-h
http://reason.com/archives/2013/07/03/stossel-shrugged

I hope you all have a happy Independence Day.
Randy Johnson

Is It Sinful To Have Fun

As my children reached the age where they were no longer entertained by Legos and toy cars and more interested in video games, I looked for ways to engage them outdoors where fresh air and exercise would more likely be available. We would go camping, fishing and my love for riding motorcycles was one of the things that I wanted to share with my children. The first bike they got was a Honda Mini Trail 50 that I thought would be the safest way to teach them to ride. On his first attempt my eldest son ran into a tree but quickly became able to avoid obstacles and avoid injury. Both boys loved the experience, so I bought them each a bike and one for myself, so I could keep up with them. I always stressed that they should always wear a helmet, long pants and never ride alone. Our riding was always off-road, which meant loading the bikes in the truck or on a trailer and transporting them an hour or so away. Because of this, we would often include a camping trip with the motorcycle riding and that somewhat limited their riding. We had a large vacant lot down the street from our house and I had an agreement with the land owner to allow my sons to ride there, and in return I would keep the property mowed and we would pick up trash as well. It seemed like a reasonable and safe way for my sons to be able to ride not far from the house when we could not schedule a trip to the river or the lake where we would ride trails. They were instructed to push the bikes the half block to the vacant lot as riding down the street or the ally would have been illegal. However it never really worked out. Almost every time they attempted to ride, someone would call the police and when the police arrived my children would be threatened with arrest and impoundment of the motorcycles. I discussed this with the police on a couple of occasions and assured them that we had permission to ride where they were riding and each time the police concluded that as long as they had permission it would be ok, but the harassment never ended. I even went to talk to the district attorney and the local judge to try to find what ordinance we were breaking and never got an answer and both refered me back to the police who simply stated that they could not ride in the city because they had no license and the bikes were not street legal. The police had an exception for themselves though. They had 4 wheelers that they would ride at public gatherings such as parades and large gatherings such as the annual Relay for Life cancer fundraiser. The only thing that made any sense to me about the police not allowing my children to ride on the lot was that someone had complained and they felt obligated to stop the offense. I was never able to find out which ordinance we were breaking and other off-road vehicles such as riding mowers, golf carts and tractors were never a problem. Is it just that some people can’t stand to see others having fun?

Society seems bent on forbidding things that people enjoy, not because of public safety, but because they associate enjoyment with sinful behavior. I believe this is why the legalization of marijuana has had such an uphill climb. Some people see the use of marijuana as morally wrong. Like people who use marijuana are broken and must be repaired by society, usually through punishment such as fines, probation or incarceration. Now that our government has finally conceded that calling this a war against marijuana is counter productive and alienates the public, they have slightly altered their tactics. Now many courts are offering the chance for rehabilitation instead of incarceration. The financial penalty still applies as the defendant must still pay court costs and the cost of rehabilitation, plus the loss of wages while undergoing the rehabilitation. And if the defendant does not complete the rehabilitation or fails any of the mandatory drug tests, they are right back to incarceration. The only thing is, most marijuana users do not agree that they actually need or want to be rehabilitated. There is nothing morally different from marijuana use than drinking wine or beer. What if everyone caught with alcohol were treated this way? Why are we not allowed to choose a safer alternative to alcohol and why must the punishment be so severe? Even in places where marijuana is decriminalized or where the punishment is less severe, the prosecuting attorney often stacks charges, such as intent to distribute and paraphernalia charges to increase the penalty. If the person has a firearm, the charges automatically escalate to felony weapons charges in addition to the marijuana charges, even though marijuana has a much lower association with violence than alcohol. Just because someone chooses to use marijuana does not mean they are a threat to themselves or society, and it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Millions of people use marijuana and alcohol every day without problems. Why can’t people in society, simply live and let live? Don’t you have enough problems of your own?

Randy Johnson

This article from reason magazine highlights how governments and society ban all sorts of relatively benign behavior because of Puritanical beliefs, most of which are not based on facts.

http://reason.com/archives/2013/06/26/the-government-bans-fun-not-danger/1

Marijuana Paraphernalia Now A Felony In Florida

Drug haters keep looking for ways to end marijuana use or just punish marijuana users. Now Florida has made the second offense for possession of marijuana paraphernalia a felony. Marijuana users can now be severely punished even if they do not have any marijuana. A felony conviction would take away their right to vote, eliminating their voice from the political process. Consider that Florida is a 3 strikes law state and that if a person had a bong, a couple of pipes and a one hitter but no pot they might receive a life sentence. While I realize this scenario is very unlikely, this is still an extremely draconian law designed only to punish people for a crime that they didn’t get caught doing or to further punish people for a crime past the sentencing that is dictated by law. Its like punishing beer drinkers for having an ice chest or a bottle opener. The hatred of marijuana and marijuana users is not based on science or facts but driven by emotion, and that emotion is hatred.

When the argument that marijuana is of great harm to society is used, it must be accompanied with the argument that marijuana is a gateway drug which leads to the use of harder drugs because there is just not enough evidence that shows marijuana causes harm to its users or to society. Granted many lives are lost or otherwise damaged by drug abuse in aggregate, but the damage to individuals or society from marijuana use alone is negligible. There is very little evidence that the gateway theory has any merit. Almost all studies that consider the gateway theory, say that the gateway effect is likely caused by marijuana being illegal and sold on the black market along with other illegal drugs, not because marijuana use makes people desire other drugs. Statistically, most marijuana users never go on to use other drugs. No one even considers that alcohol is just as likely to be a gateway to drug abuse as anything else. I believe the real reason people insist on continuing the failed prohibition of marijuana, is that they can’t stand the idea that people are getting high. No one really wants a drug free society. That would eliminate alcohol as well as all medicinal products. Making marijuana paraphernalia a felony is just a desperate way to punish people for marijuana use, even when they don’t have any. Similar to the way the federal government attempts to punish marijuana users with denied employment by mandating drug testing. Prohibiting marijuana allows them to live in an imaginary world where no one ever alters their consciousness with anything other than alcohol. They would likely prohibit alcohol as well if they could, but that would be a hard sell, considering the number of people who enjoy alcohol and the large sums of money our government receives in taxes from alcohol sales and the money funneled into political campaigns from the alcohol lobby.

We are losing the constitutional protections of the fourth amendment against illegal searches largely due to the war on drugs. Now a search can be authorized by a dog. Soon molecular scanners may replace the dogs and our government seems to think that all electronic communication from phone and email communications to banking and health records are theirs for the taking. Soon nothing will be beyond the prying eyes of Uncle Sam, not even our DNA and the war against marijuana is on the front lines of this assault on the fourth amendment. Millions of people use marijuana on a regular basis and evidence shows that it is a much safer alternative to alcohol use. In fact, states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The reasons for the reduction in traffic fatalities is not clear but it seems to be caused by people substituting alcohol use for that of marijuana. Why not let people choose a safer alternative to alcohol? Legalize marijuana.

Randy Johnson

http://peacersvp.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/insane-bong-pipe-ban-signed-by-fl-gov-rick-scott-2x-felony/

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=49236

http://news.ufl.edu/2006/01/10/three-strikes-law/

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=277001.docx&DocumentType=Amendments&BillNumber=0049&Session=2013

http://www.dailypaul.com/283832/insane-bill-banning-bongs-pipes-heading-to-governor-in-fl

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Gateway_Theory#sthash.uSKxAlCw.dpbs

http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf

http://www.criminallawyerillinois.com/2010/11/19/penalties-for-possession-of-drug-paraphernalia-under-illinois-law/

Government Mandated Drug Testing Is Wrong

Since the laws governing use and sale of marijuana have been largely ignored, our government found other ways to punish those they could not catch and prosecute. They coerce employers into bypassing the need for a warrant to search a person by mandating drug testing as a condition of employment. For the government to randomly test people for drug use, drug testing would be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, but by the government mandating that all businesses that do business with the federal government, drug test as a condition of employment, they get away with forcing us to submit to drug testing or being punished through denied employment. Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone or want to encourage drug use on the job, but the urine test for marijuana does not determine if a person is under the influence, only that they have used marijuana in the last few days. Saliva tests for detecting marijuana are a much better determination of the tested person actually being under the influence than a urine test. The saliva test detects marijuana use from 2 to 24 hours while the urine test detects marijuana metabolites up to 30 days or more in chronic users. There is actually a urine test for alcohol that can tell if a person has had a drink in the last 80 hours, but no one seems interested in using that test, except the probation or parole authorities. I really don’t care what employers want to do as far as drug testing. Employers should be able to determine what is acceptable behavior in their employees. If they want to prohibit alcohol, drugs, tobacco use or even obesity, it is fine with me. What bothers me is for the federal government to mandate drug testing through legislation, as a way to punish those they can’t catch and prosecute. Denied employment punishes the whole family. If the only way to tell if a person has used marijuana is to send their urine to a lab, is the marijuana use really a problem?

The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice study of drug testing in the workplace, indicates that significant benefits are achieved through random and post accident drug testing of individuals such as increased productivity, lower accident rates and lower absenteeism. What is not clear from the study, is how much marijuana use influences those statistics when in aggregate with alcohol and other illicit drugs. It is also worth noting that all the people conducting the study, work in the drug testing field as professionals, although they all signed a no conflict of interest declaration. http://www.globaldrugpolicy.org/Issues/Vol%205%20Issue%204/Basic-11-22Efficacy%20Study%20Publication%20Final.pdf

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation study, Drug Testing In The Workplace  by The Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work drew starkly different results. Among their conclusions are that alcohol is likely a much stronger influence on job safety than illegal drugs and there is no justification for drug testing in the workplace as a means of policing the private behavior of employees. It also points out that many factors have an impact on safety and productivity such as bad working conditions, sleeping and health problems, excessive workloads and work-related stress. It also points out the flaws in workplace drug testing such as drug testing is not an indicator of current intoxication and that empowering employers to investigate and punish private behavior is in conflict with liberal-democratic values. http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/drug-testing-workplacesummary-conclusions-independent-inquiry-drug-testing-work

While I think we can all agree that people working under the influence of drugs can be a hazard not only to themselves but also others. Tests that indicate a person being under the influence would be a much better way to police unwanted activity in the workplace.

Randy Johnson

http://www.ehow.com/about_5434202_information-urine-alcohol-test.html

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

Marijuana Makes People Thinner

A new study released my the American Journal of Medicine reports that those who use marijuana are thinner than those who do not. No explanation was cited although marijuana users have a 16% lower fasting insulin level and a higher caloric intake. Some how, one of the compounds or a combination of them improve metabolism in users of marijuana. Dr. Stuart Weiss, a professor and endocrinologist at the NYU School Of Medicine said that certain compounds from marijuana could be isolated and put into a pill to eliminate the toxic nature of marijuana. Already marijuana is one of the least toxic substances people consume so I assume they want to eliminate the high (my favorite part)  and the smoking part of the marijuana experience. I guess they are unfamiliar with cannabis edibles and vaporizers. Once again, our governments steadfast view that marijuana has no medicinal value, has come up short.

Randy Johnson

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/05/16/study-smoking-marijuana-could-make-you-thinner/

http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(13)00313-6/fulltext

http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(13)00200-3/fulltext

Marijuana And Money

In their effort to forge laws governing marijuana sales in Colorado, legislators are debating about the amount of taxes that should be associated with the sale. Colorado House of Representatives wants a 15% excise tax and a 10 or 15% tax on all sales in addition to the 2.9% state sales tax and any local taxes. Other cost relayed to the consumer will include the high licensing and application fees associated with starting a marijuana distribution center. Other legislative efforts that will continue to drive up costs are the rule governing that 70% of all marijuana sold must be grown by the distributor and no more than 30% may be furnished to another distributor. Also the legislators are considering limiting the amount of marijuana that can be sold and limiting the number of distributors state-wide which could create a shortage of legally sold marijuana. Shortages of supply would tend to drive the cost to consumers higher.

With taxes on sold marijuana approaching 30 to 35% it will be difficult to keep costs low enough to discourage a black market for marijuana. Brick and mortar stores have the added cost of a building, with all of its associated cost such as mortgage or rent, electricity, water, insurance and wages paid to a staff. Citizens of Colorado are allowed to grow their own marijuana and the profits of black market sales will be just too tempting for some to pass up, especially if the legal market is unable to meet demand.

Another problem facing marijuana distributors in Colorado is the continued prohibition of marijuana at the federal level. Since marijuana is still illegal by US law, it is difficult to find banks and insurance companies to do business with the distributors, forcing them into a cash only business with elaborate security systems. I’m sure the Federal government would not allow armed security in a business selling marijuana according to the Gun Control Act. This leads to increased security risks associated with robberies and burglaries and makes it difficult to obtain financing for startup and operating expenses. In addition the Federal Government has a long history of circumventing the will of the people by raiding marijuana distributors and confiscating their assets and property and incarcerating the owners.

All of these things combined make black market marijuana more appealing and profitable while making legal marijuana more expensive and easier targets for the Feds.

http://www.coloradoan.com/viewart/20130430/NEWS11/304300007/Marijuana-taxes-prove-sticking-point-Colorado

http://reason.com/blog/2013/04/29/colorado-legislators-pile-on-pot-restric

http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/29/smallbusiness/marijuana-cash/index.html

http://reason.com/blog/2013/04/30/if-high-cigarette-taxes-fuel-a-booming-b

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_Control_Act_of_1968

Randy Johnson

Federal Law Complicates State Job Protection Laws

According to an article in the Huffington Post, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled that the Colorado law preventing employers from terminating employees for activities off the job that are legal, such as the use of tobacco does not apply to medical marijuana patients. Although medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, the court determined that Federal prohibition prevents job protection under the state law. Similar problems have been addressed in other states with similar results. Arizona may be the only state that protects medical marijuana patients employment with a caveat, the protected employment must not harm the employers Federal contract or license. Federal law requires any business that does business with the Federal Government to provide a drug free workplace and have a drug testing program. The Federal law also complicates insurance agreements with employers because many insurance policies exclude claims where illegal activity is involved. Even if an employee’s job status was protected under state law, an on the job injury might not be covered by the employers insurance policy because of the Federal prohibition of marijuana.

I’m really not in favor of laws preventing employers from terminating employees for what ever reason they see fit. If I were an employer, I wouldn’t want people telling me who I could or could not hire or fire. That in itself is against the principles of freedom and is hostile to business. Isn’t the legalization of marijuana about personal freedom? Shouldn’t that freedom apply equally to everyone, including employers?

Just another good reason to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act and let states sort out the legalization of marijuana. The will of the people is being circumvented by the obstructionists in Washington, who believe we should all live by their edict.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/colo-court-says-no-job-pr_n_3156072.html

Randy Johnson

The Church Should Support Marijuana Legalization But Discourage It’s Use

You may think this is a wrong-headed notion but please hear me out. I am a Christian and have studied this idea for a number of years. First of all God intended for man to have free will. Without free will, love means nothing. Only when love is given freely without reservation is it of any benefit, not only to us, but also as love for God. If you could sum up the message in the New Testament, it would be to “Love God with all your heart and to love others as you love yourself”. There is no love in prohibiting marijuana. People who use it medicinally are denied relief and those who use it for other reasons face fines and incarceration, are denied employment and considered a danger to their own children. Marijuana prohibition was perpetuated with a series of lies and misinformation and that practice continues today, with our government hiding the truth about marijuana and refusing to acknowledge any benefits from the drug. Did you know the federal government owns patents on marijuana that describe in detail how marijuana is an effective drug to combat cancer and have known this for decades. They do not release this information because it doesn’t fit the agenda of protecting big business from competition or loss from marijuana and hemp. You may say that using marijuana is sin and separates us from God, but where are the scriptures to support that belief. Alcohol and marijuana are both used for roughly the same reasons, as a social catalyst, for recreation, for relaxation, as medication, for celebration and as a sacrament. Several references found throughout the Bible indicate that alcohol was used in celebration, for self medication, to ease pain and as a sacrament. The first recorded miracle by Jesus was turning water into wine at a wedding celebration. Clearly the bible says that drunkenness is a sin, but what about responsible use?

Deuteronomy 14:26

Psalms 104:15

Proverbs 13:5

Proverbs 20:1

Proverbs 23:21

Proverbs 31:4-7

Joel 2:19

Joel 3:18

Amos 9:14

Matthew 9:17

Mark 7:14-23

Luke 5:37-39

Luke 10:27

Luke 10:34

John 2:3-10

John 13:34

Acts 2:13

Romans 14:21

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

1 Corinthians 10:31

Galatians 5:19-21

Ephesians 5:18

Timothy 3:8

Timothy 5:23

Titus 2

Matthew 11:19

Luke 7:34

U.S. Government patent on marijuana  http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

http://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/marijuana-cures-cancer-us-government-has-known-since-1974/#comment-14964

Evidence is growing and statistics show that marijuana is a far safer alternative to alcohol. People want to feel better, that is the whole premise for self medication. We self medicate with over the counter medications for the most part now, but 100 years ago home remedies and patent medicines were the norm. Many of these patent medicines contained heroin, cocaine, opium, cannabis or alcohol and were readily available. Still today there is a large market for homeopathic medicines and herbs and hundreds of books written to help us find the correct dietary supplement to cure what ails us. There is little evidence that this type of self medication was harmful to society then or now. The highest estimate I have found of deaths caused by all illegal drug use per year was only 17,000 deaths. The deaths associated with alcohol are at 70,000+, not counting its association with traffic fatalities, murders and domestic violence. The deaths caused by prescription drug use, including med errors and misuse, are over 200,000 a year and tobacco kills 450,000 people a year. Overeating and lack of exercise kills 350,000 people a year. The book “Cause of Death”, lists 3 deaths cause by consumption of cannabis. Marijuana has been shown to be very promising in treating pain, spasms, wasting and even cancer. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use have seen a 9% decrease in traffic fatalities. The fear campaign waged against hemp and marijuana was perpetuated with lies and the truth was hidden. The reported harm to individuals and to society from marijuana use, has been grossly overstated by our government and most of the harm associated with marijuana use, is a direct result of prohibition and not caused by marijuana.  If God really wanted hemp and marijuana to be illegal, would he have needed to hide the truth to accomplish that mission?

Cause Of Death, edited by Jack Mingo, Erin Barrett and Lucy Autrey Wison

http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30#sthash.YAU01DAL.dpbs

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000145

https://itsmycountrytoo.org/laws-built-on-lies/

https://itsmycountrytoo.org/2012/07/29/marijuana-is-safer-than-alcohol-or-tobacco/

https://itsmycountrytoo.org/2012/08/08/197/

http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf

Marijuana, like anything else can be abused. Many of you have heard that marijuana decreases motivation and I have found that to be true when used excessively, but the same could be said for television or alcohol. Like alcohol, I believe marijuana’s use should be age appropriate and regulated by ID checks for purchase. Like alcohol use, maturity has a strong bearing on the degree of abuse. Children just aren’t that good at controlling their urges, but many adults share the same problem. Giving a source of never-ending chocolate to a child would be a bad choice as most children would eat nothing but chocolate, yet as adults purchasing our own food, we have that option, but we choose other more nutritious food for the most part. That is where maturity comes in and we all mature at different rates and to different degrees. Some people never learn to make good decisions, but as a society we let them make those choices for the most part, as long as they do no harm to others.

Education is a much better option to help others lead a better life than prohibition. Prohibition robs people of free will and creates unregulated markets and crime where none should exist. Prohibition is a perfect tool to control 3 year olds who lack the reasoning and skills necessary to be self-sufficient, but as we mature and develop our capacity for reasoning and become self-sufficient, prohibition becomes a burden and even hateful when used to deny employment, the right to raise our children or when we face incarceration and fines and property we worked and paid for is confiscated. Prohibition of marijuana makes criminals out of people for choosing a safer, less harmful drug than alcohol. With an estimated 20,000,000 Americans currently using marijuana, it is very likely someone you love uses marijuana. We shop with you and dine in restaurants with you. You see us picking up our kids at school and at games and sporting events and at the movies. We blend in because we’re just like the rest of society, working, paying our bills and trying to raise our children as best we can. All we really want is to live in peace with society, yet federal law prohibits this and Congress doles out tax money and military equipment for local law enforcement to conduct paramilitary raids on homes of people accused of selling marijuana.

I can’t say that God approves of marijuana. I simply do not know and as far as I have found in scripture, the Bible is silent on this issue. Certainly abuse of marijuana would be sinful, but so is abuse of alcohol and arguably, anything done to an excess. We all have obligations and responsibilities, to ourselves, to our families, and to society, but most importantly to God. The bible stresses that we are to love one another as ourselves. To support laws, such as the prohibition of marijuana, that are based on misinformation, and motivated by greed, racial intolerance and hatred, is in direct opposition to the message of Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether use of marijuana is sinful, prohibition is a hateful way to treat people and it denies people free will.

Marijuana’s use should be discouraged because it is a drug that has a strong likelihood of abuse, and I would say that any use of marijuana that keeps us from meeting our obligations and responsibilities, to ourselves, to society, to our family or to God as abuse and sinful. Indifference to injustice and the harm it causes others is sinful as well, and it does nothing to advance Christianity.

Randy Johnson

LEAP Testifies For Marijuana Legalization In New Hampshire

Cheshire County Prison Superintendent Richard Van Wickler’s testimony about marijuana legalization is very refreshing. Richard Van Wickler is a member of LEAP “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition” and was representing LEAP at this meeting to discuss HB492, a bill calling for legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire. Van Winkler presented a very straight forward testimony, presented good evidence to support his views and rebutted some of the incorrect propaganda presented as facts by the anti-marijuana groups, such as the gateway theory and the fact that there is simply no study ever conducted that agrees with the gateway theory. He also explains how legalization is a much better approach to the marijuana issue because decriminalization leaves the criminal supply chain in place and does not address the violence associated with an unregulated market. Legalization puts drug dealers out of business and makes it more difficult for minors to obtain marijuana similar to the carding of people buying alcohol or tobacco. LEAP presents a very logical, compassionate and just plan for legalization of marijuana that discourages all drug use, while protecting our freedom and reducing crime and violence in America. An added benefit would be the restoration of the close relationship we should all have with law enforcement, when it is no longer us against them. I applaud the members of LEAP that have chosen to stand for a common sense drug policy in this country.

Van Winkler’s testimony can be seen here, about 17 minutes.  http://www.leap.cc/richard-van-wickler-testifies-for-marijuana-legalization/

http://www.leap.cc/

Thanks

Randy Johnson

President Obama and Congress Should Stop This War

The war against marijuana should end immediately and here is why. The laws against marijuana use were first proposed under the guise of racial intolerance and trumped-up fear of an imaginary plague of harm to society. Horror stories were given prominence in Randolph Hearst’s national array of newspapers, largely because of his hatred of Mexicans and to protect his vast holdings of timber land for pulp and paper production from competition with hemp. The Dupont empire was also in favor of marijuana prohibition because it was competition for their newly developed synthetic fiber, Nylon. Nylon could be used as fiber in the production of explosives which was the mainstay of Dupont at that time. The cellulose fiber in explosives had previously been hemp. Also in favor of prohibition was Rockefeller and Standard Oil, because it was a competition for the new oil and gas industry as hemp oil could be replaced in most applications with petroleum products. The cotton industry also profited by the elimination of hemp as a source for fiber to make clothing. http://www.jackherer.com/thebook/chapter-four/

Newly appointed head of the Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger would testify before Congress of the horrors happening across the country associated with marijuana use. He would read the stories from Hearst’s newspapers aloud before Congress as testimony of the need for federal intervention. Largely unknown or ignored was the fact that cannabis patent medicines and elixirs had been a large part of the pharmacopeia in America for almost 100 years without any health problems arising from its use. If any problems were associated with cannabis they were not mentioned in the medical journals of the time. Hemp had been a mainstay for agriculture and society for thousands of years with a myriad of different uses from food and shelter to clothing. Remnants of the propaganda of that era, such as the classic film Reefer Madness can be seen at web sites like.

http://archive.org/details/reefer_madness1938

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

http://www.druglibrary.org/prohibitionresults4.htm

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/studies.htm

http://www.jackherer.com/thebook/

Fear gained traction as an unwitting public who were unfamiliar with the name marijuana were being told horrendous stories of crime and violence against white people by marijuana crazed minorities. It was an easy sell to America, which was still deeply mired in racial intolerance at the time and women had just acquired the right to vote barely two decades before. As America became entrenched in this fear of the marijuana plague, the propaganda campaign continued and even today our government refuses to acknowledge any benefits associated with marijuana use, only acknowledging the studies and anecdotal evidence that support the belief that marijuana is harmful to individuals and society. While I don’t believe that marijuana is harmless, it is certainly not as harmful as the two legal recreational drugs alcohol and tobacco. The harm to society and to individuals from marijuana use has been grossly overstated by our government which has poured over a trillion dollars into this failed and unjust war against Americans to protect big business from loss or competition with marijuana and hemp. This racially biased, unjust war against us continues today and it should end immediately. It is still supported by the same industries and now others such as the prison industry, the drug testing industry, the alcohol industry and the vast array of drug treatment centers across the country that are asking Congress to crack down on Colorado and Washington for allowing legal marijuana within their own state. And let’s not forget the DEA, with its multi-billion dollar annual budget and all the power and influence that money can buy. It is hard to surrender that much power and influence to a kinder and gentler society, after all the drug war is a very large employer. Laws that were voted in by free people are still forbidden and enforced by federal mandate.
That gets me to the next issue.

I mentioned in a previous article that all members of Congress take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Well they have failed miserably at that task. The Constitution lays the foundation for a nation of states to govern themselves under a guiding law that preserves basic freedoms and human rights. Our Declaration of Independence describes rights granted by God that are unalienable by man and the Constitution goes further to list some of our rights in the Bill of Rights. The Federal Governments job or function was to provide for common defense and regulate interstate commerce to prevent states from unfair advantage over other states. Its other function is to protect our rights as defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic which is where they have failed. As far as marijuana prohibition is concerned, The right to self medicate and the right to celebrate life had been a legal right for thousands of years before marijuana and alcohol prohibition. While the unjust war against alcohol was wisely abandoned, the war against marijuana users and their supply continues under the guise of public safety. We have been persecuted with denied employment and government assistance for housing and education, denied the right to adopt children. We have also been prosecuted and punished by Congress with laws mandating drug testing by employers, incarceration and fines and we were stripped of our 2nd ammendment right to keep and bear arms without trial or justification. Our 4th ammendment rights against illegal searches as described in the Constitution, about a search warrant being issued by a judge of law have been circumvented to allow game wardens, housing inspectors and child welfare officers the authority to search without warrants and now the Supreme Court has given that authority to dogs. Am I the only American that finds that troubling?

What our 5th and 6th ammendment rights, the right to appear in a court of law and face our accusers and the right to a speedy trial with a jury of our peers. Our President now believes he has the authority to use drones to kill Americans without trial and to detain Americans indefinitely without trial.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/31/obama-defense-bill_n_1177836.html

http://reason.com/blog/2013/03/20/looks-like-shifting-the-cias-drone-progr

How about our right to keep and bear arms. That is our 2nd amendment right and yet the Federal Government has and allowed states to make a mockery of that right. Our right to keep and bear arms should be the same in any state or territory of these United States just like our right to worship and our freedom of speech. Congress, The President and The Supreme Court should insist on the same. Another basic right that our government has failed to protect is our 5th ammendment right to own property. Never should the government be able to take property from an individual and sell it to another individual for profit in the name of eminent domain. Only real public needs such as right of ways or military needs should be secured by eminent domain laws. Taxes beyond the sale of property are a direct assault on that right as the Government believes they own the land and everything on it. Having to pay a periodical tax to continue to own property gives credence to the thought that all property belongs to the government.

http://www.citypaper.net/blogs/nakedcity/Property-owners-protest-eminent-domain-in-Kensington-.html

https://www.legalzoom.com/us-law/supreme-court/supreme-court-series-i-eminent

What about our 4th ammendment rights of privacy, where government surveillance of our e-mail and cell phones has become common? We are on the verge of surveillance capabilities that most Americans never even dreamed of and our freedom is in serious jeopardy. Our freedom should not now or ever have been for sale to protect the profits of the rich. Marijuana prohibition is on the front lines of this war against freedom waged on Americans by our own governmnet. Lets get back to the task of preserving freedom and the Constitution.

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

http://www.marijuanahistory.org/history-of-marijuana-prohibition-in-united-states

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/vlr/vlrtoc.htm

http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/

http://www.jackherer.com/thebook/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-bloom/legalization-or-bust-a-br_b_775684.html

http://reason.com/blog/2013/03/05/totally-disinterested-drug-warriors-dema

http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/08/a-group-of-drug-war-profiteers-are-askin

Randy Johnson

Insurance and Marijuana Use

An article written by Aaron Crowe from http://www.carinsurance.com , that I found at http://money.msn.com/ delves into the issues of automobile insurance coverage and the use of marijuana. It discusses insurance company policy toward medical marijuana and sources a study into the effects medical marijuana have had on traffic fatalities. According to the article any drugged driving conviction or loss of license involving drugged driving will result in your insurance carrier canceling your policy. When your license is restored you would not be eligible for discounted insurance but instead be put in a pool for high risk insurance at near double discounted rates. Insurance companies have little if any tolerance for DUI convictions whether they are from alcohol or other drugs.

In another article from http://money.msn.com/, Some life insurance policies will cover people who use marijuana (but not abuse) and cover them at a higher rate similar to how insurance companies charge higher premiums to those who use tobacco. I am assuming that the (but not abuse) clause would pertain to state legal medical marijuana use, but I have no way to confirm that. The article also stresses the need to be honest in the application process as the application becomes part of the policy and any dishonesty on the application constitutes fraud.

Interestingly the study cited from iza.org titled “Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption” by D. Mark Anderson and Daniel I. Rees reports that in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use, traffic fatalities have decreased by almost 9%, marijuana use among people 12 to 17 years of age decreased even though overall marijuana use increased, and alcohol consumption overall decreased. The study suggests that marijuana is used as a substitute for alcohol consumption. The decrease in traffic fatalities may be the result of decreased alcohol consumption or it may be related to the fact that most people who consume alcohol do so away from home in bars and restaurants and then drive home, while most marijuana consumption is done in private and at home. Also cited in the study were references to driving studies that indicate marijuana users tend to compensate for impairment by slowing down and taking fewer risks while alcohol users tend to not be aware of their impairment and tend to drive faster and take more risks. Either way just the act of legalizing medical marijuana has reduced traffic fatalities (9%) at rates similar to raising the drinking age to 21 years (9%) or mandatory seat belt laws (8%). The results of reducing traffic fatalities associated with alcohol are even greater at a 12% reduction for (blood alcohol content above 0) and a 14% reduction for (blood alcohol content at .10 and above). This gives credence to the idea, alcohol and marijuana are substitutes for one another and that legalizing marijuana would result in lower alcohol consumption.

http://money.msn.com/insurance/stoned-drivers-safer-than-drunks-carinsurance.aspx

http://money.msn.com/life-insurance/lies-that-could-kill-your-life-insurance.aspx

http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf

Burian, Scott; Liguori, Anthony and John Robinson. 2002. “Effects of Alcohol on Risk-Taking

During Simulated Driving.”

Human Psychopharmacology 17: 141-150.

Carpenter, Christopher. 2004. “How do Zero Tolerance Drunk Driving Laws Work?”

Journal

of Health Economics

23: 61-83.

Carpenter, Christopher and Mark Stehr. 2008. “The Effects of Mandatory Seatbelt Laws on

Seatbelt Use, Motor Vehicle Fatalities, and Crash-Related Injuries among Youths.”

Journal of Health Economics

27: 642-662.

Randy Johnson

3D Printing Of Guns Is Improving

In an update to an article published January 18th, titled “3D Printing May Be The Key To Our Freedom” about a printed lower receiver for an AR15, Defense Distributed has improved on the initial model that failed after six shots. The improved version has fired over 600 shots without failure. Also available is a CAD file to print a 30 round magazine for AR15 style rifles. Keep in mind there are many parts for an AR15 that currently would not be feasible to print out of plastic such as the springs, barrel, upper receiver, bolt and firing pin, but these parts are not currently regulated and can be purchased through the mail without an FFL dealer. The ability to make your own gun has been within the realm of anyone who has access to a lathe and milling machine for as long as I can remember and it is perfectly legal to make a gun as long as you don’t make a gun that is currently prohibited, such as a machine gun or a short barrel shotgun. Rep. Steve Israel of New York, is currently trying to ban 3D printing of guns in anticipation of untraceable weapons that do not show up on metal scanners. Similar to the idea of eliminating nuclear weapons, stopping this technology is like trying to put the nuclear genie back in the bottle. Guns simply cannot be un-invented and any attempt to confiscate or eliminate gun ownership is destined to fail. Even if the current 3D gun files available for download could be tracked down and erased, it would not be long before someone else came up with another version. Our government’s attempt to control every aspect of our lives is starting to meet resistance in ways they never imagined. States legalizing marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes and 3D printable guns are just the beginning. However, I am concerned about The Department of Homeland Security’s recent acquisition of 2 billion rounds of ammunition. What horrible plans do they have in store for us next? Are our elected officials so worried about maintaining control that they would use deadly force against us to stay in power? Is it too late to vote them out? I sure hope not.
http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/27/gun-control-laws-increasingly-irrelevant
http://defcad.org/
http://www.prisonplanet.com/govt-preparing-for-soviet-style-purge-of-americans.html
Randy Johnson