This Declaration Of Rights By Dan Richeson Would Be Great To Print Sign and Mail To Congress And President Obama

Submitted on 2013/02/26 at 4:54 PM

Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users

Mission Statement: To bring an end to cannabis prohibition in 2013 by gathering signatory members through promotion and declaring our rights through the document, “Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users”. Giving prohibitionists reasonable opportunity to affect appropriate, timely and agreed upon change and, if necessary enforcing our rights in a peaceful way. After April 20 2013 adopting a zero tolerance for acts of brutality and injustice by prohibitionists.

The laws regarding cannabis were born on the wings of lies and pampered by propaganda such that now the tightly held belief systems are going to have to reckon with the desire of all humanity to live with dignity, free from the oppressive tyranny that ignorance and bigotry have spawned.

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS OF CANNABIS USERS

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Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
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Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
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Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.
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Whereas for too long now it has been observed that disregard and contempt for human rights has been allowed to exist in the body of politically motivated law that outlaws the possession, cultivation and use of cannabis by adults. The signatories of this Declaration wish to live in peace in this society, have been engaged in constant communication with their elected representatives individually or as part of groups. The actions of the government in this regards demonstrates continued contempt and disregard that we the undersigned feel that we have NO RECOURSE but to regard our government and some of our fellow citizens as hostile towards our declared rights and indifferent to the tyranny, oppression and terrorism that we have too long had to deal with.
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Whereas by this declaration we provide the opportunity and impudence for representatives to engage in good faith negotiations which will lead to peaceful coexistence
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Whereas we the undersigned do hereby declare that IT IS OUR RIGHT to cultivate, possess and use cannabis AND that any law that says otherwise will be treated by us as the tool of tyranny.
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Whereas we the undersigned in declaring our desire to realize our liberties and our desire to live in peace also recognize that the point is near where our rights and liberties will have to be defended.
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Whereas we the undersigned are willing to do all we can to avoid conflict we hope that this WARNING also provides our fellow citizens and our representatives the impudence to also seek peace and understanding within our society.
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Sincerely,

[Your name]
Dan Richeson

Freedom Brings All Kinds of Surprises

Skulls elongated by binding that look eerily alien found in an ancient burial site in Sonora of northern Mexico are proof that people have been making strange decisions about what they do to their bodies for a long time. Today piercings, mutilations and tattoos are the rage among some young people and boob implants and liposuction and Botox for others. Vain attempts to find a niche in society.

http://t.now.msn.com/alien-like-skulls-found-in-mexican-cemetery

Truth is, we’re all looking for ways to connect with those around us. We choose activities that we believe stir interest in others and trying to create fun and play are part of how we connect. Drinking alcohol has been a large part of that process for a long time because it lowers inhibitions and makes us more outgoing. It makes social connection a little easier to initiate. But alcohol also has a darker side and not everyone who drinks is affected in that way, but anyone who has been around drinking much have seen it, ” the violent mean drunk”, which is one of the reasons many people prefer marijuana. In 40 years of using marijuana and interacting with marijuana users, I have never seen a person get violent without due provocation under the influence of just marijuana. Can people under the influence of marijuana be provoked? The answer is certainly yes, but so can those who do no drugs. For many it is just a safer alternative to alcohol. A safer way to connect with those around us.

Only when we learn to accept or at least tolerate those among us that do things we may not favor or approve of will we ever truly be free.

Randy Johnson

Where Are The Dissenters

I have been speaking out about the legalization of marijuana for almost a year now and almost all of the comments I have received have been positive with the exception of a couple of people. I’m sure there are more people who read this blog that are opposed to my views. If you believe I am wrong, I would love to hear your reasoning. I’m not intending to start a fight but, I believe we need to have a conversation about our place in society. It can’t be that there is not enough room in this country for both of us. Prohibition harms everyone’s freedom. All we want is the right to live in peace with society. Please end the war against marijuana.

Randy Johnson

Is Life Precious To You

Life is precious to me. I believe life is a gift from God and it should be cherished. For that reason I am opposed to abortion. I don’t want to be judgemental or anything like that, but Americans have aborted over 50 million children since the Row vs Wade decision. I won’t pretend to understand why people decide to abort their child, but I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision. I fear that God may be angry about those lives that he gave, that were snuffed out without a chance for life outside the womb. Individually I’m sure that God would forgive this action if approached with repentant prayer, but what about our nation? Doesn’t God judge nations as well as individuals? Aren’t we all guilty since we have elected our leaders? Don’t we share some of the responsibility? I believe we do and we should take action to try to alleviate the problem. I’m not talking about making abortion illegal, that is an issue that needs to be settled with the Constitution by declaring when we become people and when we first have rights. I’m talking about offering to accept responsibility for the child’s future until adulthood. I believe it is our responsibility as the Church to at the very least offer sanctuary those unborn children. Churches are the best organizations to handle this situation. Church run orphanages could give pregnant women the option to just give their child away rather that terminate the pregnancy and the Church could function as the family for the orphans with volunteers through the church. If churches across the nation would unite in this cause, we might be able to prevent a large number of abortions. Instead of addressing the problem with disapproval, and legally, it could be met with a loving option. The offer to raise their child in a loving environment until adulthood.

When I was much younger, my girlfriend at the time became pregnant, and she and her mother decided to abort that child. While I expressed my opposition to that decision, I was told I had no say in the matter. Since then my wife and I have lost 4, and raised two boys to manhood. We wanted to adopt but were turned down because of my previous marijuana possession convictions. My point is that I love children and if you don’t want to raise your child, I would be glad to take on that task. I would take them ALL and find a way to give them a loving home and meet their needs to grow into responsible adults. If churches across the country would join together and offer this to any person who cannot or does not want the responsibility to raise their children, then we could at the very least, decrease the number of abortions performed in this country. It is my hope and prayer that we are not held accountable as a nation because we looked the other way as millions of lives were erased.

http://www.abort73.com/abortion/abortion_in_the_church/

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

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

God Please Forgive Us

Randy Johnson

Why Do We Go To War

A few days ago, as I ate lunch at the park in front of the Hutchinson County Veterans Memorial. I started wondering what we fight for as a nation and individually, and why we send our sons and daughters to war. Words come to mind like, duty to country, honor, national defense, and security. Today our armed forces are all voluntary, but many of the soldiers honored here were drafted into service. Does that change the reasons we fight? Society needs to be able to assemble armies in its defense, even a conscript army if needed. The survival of our nation and way of life may demand such action. We faced real threats to our sovereignty and security in WWI and WII and so did our allies, but what about Korea and Vietnam? Was our sovereignty and security in danger then, or was that just our attempt to stop communist aggression amid the Cold War? Were we able to achieve those goals? I would call Korea a partial success. South Korea is a democratic country with an economy built on free enterprise and it is prospering. But the Korean people are divided, with their kin to the north governed by a desperate and aggressive despot, who rules his people with fear and punishment. And they are technically still at war with a real threat of the violence ensuing again. If we had not maintained a military presence there, it is very likely all of Korea would be under communist control today. None of our goals were met in Vietnam with the communists taking control of Saigon as we were leaving and yet, today they are a united, peaceful people. Who decides when we go to war and what the motivations are? The reasons to go to war are never simple and may cover any variety of considerations from economics to survival but certainly the preservation of our freedom should be one of the reasons we fight. Our nation was born with a struggle for freedom from the rule of England. Our Declaration of Independence lists a number of violations of basic human rights by the King and extols our right to shed that rule in favor of self-rule as all men are created equal with rights granted to us by God and not men. This was an act of treason under English rule and those who signed that document did so knowing that it put their lives and fortunes at risk, yet those brave men and those who fought by their side, did so willingly. Our Constitution goes further describing our rights as a people, by enumerating them in the bill of rights, to ensure that government would not be able to take them away. These are important rights that ensure that we can live safely and securely among others without the worry of being governed by tyrants.

All of our servicemen take an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But how many of the recent wars we have been involved in were about a threat to our Constitution or the sovereignty and security of our nation? Were we defending an ally from a threat to their sovereignty or security? Certainly if our country is attacked we should respond in defense. Even preemptive strikes against known threats are justifiable, but all acts of war have consequences. Because of the brutality of war, some of our young will always be killed or wounded. And then there are the mental scars from being witness to the horrors of war. The fear of death or injury and seeing your friends killed or injured are hard to imagine, let alone learn to live with. Just the longing for home to reunite with the ones we love tends to wear on most people. And then there is the memory of the killing of others and watching the enemy suffer or die. Is it any wonder that the suicide rate among our servicemen is so great. War is a terrible thing for both sides of any conflict and even when the hostilities end, the painful memories of war endure. War should always be a last resort.

Our Congressmen and Senators also take the same oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, yet rarely do they face imminent danger in their daily lives. But their responsibility to defend the Constitution is just as important because they write the laws governing all aspects of our lives. They are on the front lines of protecting our freedom in the laws that they vote for or against. Their responsibility to ensure that all laws passed, maintain our freedoms as described in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence cannot be overstated. These  documents should be the guiding principle in all laws passed by Congress or signed into law by our President.

Often as I read the news and study current events I am reminded that not all members of Congress share the same reverence and respect for the Constitution of the United States. The recent debates about the right to keep and bear arms are a perfect example of that. Even before the Sandy Hook massacre, our right to keep and bear arms was seriously infringed and it was all done at the hand of Congress and backed up by past and current Presidents and supported by the Supreme Court. My second amendment right to keep and bear arms should be the same in any state or territory of these United States, yet our Congressional leaders have allowed a patchwork of differing laws governing our rights to bear arms to become the law of the land. Even if we follow the safe passage clause of the Firearm Owners Protection Act, we can still be in violation of state or local laws if we are delayed because of car trouble or if we are too tired to continue our journey. In order to pass through a state with restrictive firearm laws a person must unload and lock the gun in the trunk of their car and are not allowed to stop except for food and gas. Would we surrender our right to a trial by jury or our freedom of speech so easily? What about our freedom of religion? Isn’t our right to self-defense one of those rights granted by God?                          http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/926A                                                                                  And what about the tenth amendment where the powers not delegated to the United States as described in the Constitution are reserved to the states or to the people? Do our Congressional leaders understand that? Where in the Constitution do they get the power to tell states that they cannot experiment with medical marijuana laws or even recreational marijuana laws? Our Congressional leaders should be actively defending our rights, not circumventing state law to keep us under the thumb of oppression. Since Congress authorized the oath of office for all Federal employees, they should know that they are obligated to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and our rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. We, as Americans, should demand and expect as much from them. Their obligation to preserve our Constitution and freedom should be no less important than that of our sons and daughters that we ask or require to risk life and limb in war.

The Constitution does not provide the wording for this oath, leaving that to the determination of Congress.  From 1789 until 1861, this oath was, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.” During the 1860s, this oath was altered several times before Congress settled on the text used today, which is set out at 5 U. S. C. § 3331.  This oath is now taken by all federal employees, other than the President:

“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.  So help me God.” http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/oath/textoftheoathsofoffice2009.aspx

The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights   http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

Will We Ever Learn To Get Along?

One of the problems we face on the issue of marijuana legalization is that people on both sides of the issue tend to ignore and discredit any information that does not agree with their preconceived notions about marijuana. The anti-marijuana groups, the Federal Government and several major medical organizations including the American Medical Association and the Institute of Medicine readily discount mountains of information about the efficacy of marijuana as a medicine, because as they repeat often, smoking is a crude way to administer medicine and smoking anything cannot be good for our respiratory system. This I might add is a very good argument. Many anti-marijuana groups including our government claim that almost all of the evidence supporting marijuana as medicine is anecdotal, based of the reports of people who use marijuana and that proper dosage can never be determined in a smoked product. This also is a very good argument. But as you read the DEA report titled “The DEA Position on Marijuana” you will find it also peppered with words and terms such as (may cause, could cause,  might cause and could be associated with) and lots of anecdotal information. On the other hand when people say that marijuana has never caused a death or that it is a miracle cure, it can hardly be proven and is hard to believe.  http://www.justice.gov/dea/docs/marijuana_position_2011.pdf

With literally millions of people using marijuana on a regular basis, I would be shocked to find no problems or adverse effects from marijuana use and both sides of the issue have plenty of information to present. One of the misconceptions that the Government uses is the increase in the prevalence of marijuana use, as a reason for drug dependency treatment. It is unclear how much of this is driven by people avoiding prosecution or prison by volunteering for drug rehabilitation or just to save their job. One thing is clear. The evidence presented by the government does not differentiate, but it is worth noting that marijuana dependency treatment increased as drug courts became more available.

Most things we choose to do as people come with inherent risks. When we choose our activities, we weigh those risks against the reasons we chose to participate in those activities. Sometimes we choose wisely and other times we do not. Some people have made careers out of bad decisions and prospered because of it. For example, Evel Knievel, who thrilled Americans with his dangerous dare-devil act of jumping his motorcycle and sometimes crashing spectacularly. How about the Jackass Movies where people regularly do stupid and dangerous things just for public acknowledgement or financial gain? Isn’t it odd that we will cheer someone for jumping buses with a motorcycle or riding a bicycle off a roof and then try to ruin the lives of those who choose to smoke marijuana? Isn’t it also odd that alcohol use is openly advertised and accepted and marijuana use is punished and its users shunned by society? Isn’t it also odd that we still claim to be a free people while seeking new ways to prohibit any activity we deem immoral, unhealthy, dangerous or offensive.

Ban on sack lunches. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-11/news/ct-met-school-lunch-restrictions-041120110410_1_lunch-food-provider-public-school

Ban on cloths lines. http://www.care2.com/causes/join-the-fight-to-legalize-clotheslines.html

Ban on large sugary drinks. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21201680?ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Ban on tobacco use. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/ND-measure-would-reimburse-smoking-ban-costs-4217360.php

Ban on home gardens. http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2009/03/feds-to-ban-backyard-gardens.html

Ban on low rider pants. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2004-05-16/news/0405150320_1_louisiana-house-louisiana-legislator-ban-low-riding-pants

Ban on raw milk. http://wewantorganicfood.com/2007/10/31/healthy-raw-milk-outlawed-in-california/

Ban on lemonade stands. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/05/23/beck-as-crackdowns-on-lemonade-stands-mount-kids-will-learn-to-acquiesce-to-government/

Seat belt and helmet laws. http://www.motorists.org/seat-belt-laws/busybodies

Ban on dietary advice. http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2012/09/21/north-carolina-paleo-diet-blogger-locked-free-speech-fight

Challenge anyone? Type in any activity in BING or GOOGLE search followed by “ban” and see what comes up.

Only when we learn to accept people doing things that we may not like or agree with will we ever be truly free.

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

President Obama Could Fix the Medical Marijuana Problem

From what I have been reading, decisions about moving marijuana into a less stringent schedule than schedule 1 are in the hands of the the Attorney General with that authority granted in the Controlled Substance Act. The Attorney General has delegated that authority to the DEA Administrator. So far the DEA has not acknowledged any of the mountains of evidence of the efficacy of marijuana as a medicine. Instead they choose to fight all attempts to reschedule marijuana and ignore all evidence of marijuana’s lack of harm to society and the fact that it is overwhelmingly safer than the two most prominent recreational drugs in America, alcohol and tobacco.

In a Reason.com article written by Mike Riggs on Jan 22nd, http://reason.com/blog/2013/01/22/in-fight-over-marijuans-scheduling-appea

The Washington D.C., U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the DEA acted according to their rules in denying a rescheduling of marijuana. The Court did not consider whether the evidence presented as to marijuana’s efficacy was relevent to the issue but that the DEA had followed its own rules in reaching its decision.

According to the appeals court, the DEA was following its own rules (there are five in all) when it claimed that petitioners for rescheduling marijuana had failed to provide “adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy.”

Americans for Safe Access in turn argued “that their petition to reschedule marijuana cites more than two hundred peer-reviewed published studies demonstrating marijuana’s efficacy for various medical uses, and that those studies were largely ignored by the [DEA].”

“At bottom,” the court wrote, “the parties’ dispute in this case turns on the agency’s interpretation of its own regulations. Petitioners construe ‘adequate and well-controlled studies’ to mean peer-reviewed, published studies suggesting marijuana’s medical efficacy. The DEA, in contrast, interprets that factor to require something more scientifically rigorous.”

In other words, The DEA will not reschedule marijuana unless it would meet FDA approval. That is a very unlikely scenario when considering the close ties the FDA has with the pharmaceutical industry. However the decision to reschedule marijuana seems to swing on the opinion of the DEA Administrator of what is considered “adequate and well-controlled” medical studies, and “accepted safety”. Since this authority is delegated to the DEA Administrator by the Attorney General, surely the Attorney General could take that authority back. The office of the Attorney General as well as the office of the DEA Administrator are filled by appointment by the President of the United States. Surely the President would have enough influence over those he appoints to those positions to have them reschedule marijuana, either by Executive action or just replacing them with someone who would. While this would do nothing for the millions of recreational marijuana users. It would stop the raids that deny the sick and dying the medicine they believe improves their lives (palliative and curative), and the punishment of those who supply medical marijuana in compliance with state law. Although the President does not have the authority to legalize marijuana, the responsibilities for the current raids on medical marijuana are all his.

Thanks President  Obama

  • (b) Evaluation of drugs and other substances

The Attorney General shall, before initiating proceedings under subsection (a) of this section to control a drug or other substance or to remove a drug or other substance entirely from the schedules, and after gathering the necessary data, request from the Secretary a scientific and medical evaluation, and his recommendations, as to whether such drug or other substance should be so controlled or removed as a controlled substance. In making such evaluation and recommendations, the Secretary shall consider the factors listed in paragraphs (2), (3), (6), (7), and (8) of subsection (c) of this section and any scientific or medical considerations involved in paragraphs (1), (4), and (5) of such subsection. The recommendations of the Secretary shall include recommendations with respect to the appropriate schedule, if any, under which such drug or other substance should be listed. The evaluation and the recommendations of the Secretary shall be made in writing and submitted to the Attorney General within a reasonable time. The recommendations of the Secretary to the Attorney General shall be binding on the Attorney General as to such scientific and medical matters, and if the Secretary recommends that a drug or other substance not be controlled, the Attorney General shall not control the drug or other substance. If the Attorney General determines that these facts and all other relevant data constitute substantial evidence of potential for abuse such as to warrant control or substantial evidence that the drug or other substance should be removed entirely from the schedules, he shall initiate proceedings for control or removal, as the case may be, under subsection (a) of this section.

  • (c) Factors determinative of control or removal from schedules

In making any finding under subsection (a) of this section or under subsection (b) of section 812 of this title, the Attorney General shall consider the following factors with respect to each drug or other substance proposed to be controlled or removed from the schedules:

  • (1) Its actual or relative potential for abuse.
  • (2) Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known.
  • (3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug or other substance.
  • (4) Its history and current pattern of abuse.
  • (5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.
  • (6) What, if any, risk there is to the public health.
  • (7) Its psychic or physiological dependence liability.
  • (8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this subchapter. http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/ucm148726.htm#cntlsbb

As for the millions of recreational marijuana users, your best bet is to try to influence your Congressional leaders, or replace them with those in favor of legalization. It is very unlikely the Supreme Court would rule against Congress on the legality of marijuana. Without reasonable attempts to change Congress’ stance on marijuana the Supreme Court would be unlikely to even hear evidence.

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

Drug Related Violence is Increasing Exponentially

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization, a think tank, dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues. Highlighted in this article are a few examples of the violence on Americans at the hand of law enforcement in the failed war on drugs. Increasingly paramilitary no knock raids are used to search homes and businesses in search of illegal contraband. All too often mistakes are made where the wrong house is raided, the information about the occupants is wrong, or police or citizens die in the conflict. We have the right to use deadly force to repel home invasions. If my door was broken down at 2 or 3AM I would be inclined to try to defend my family. The justification seems to be that if no knock raids are not used, the suspects may destroy evidence. Wouldn’t shutting the water off keep people from flushing the evidence just as effectively without all the violence?                                                                                   http://www.cato.org/

In a commentary at CATO Institute written by Radley Balko titled Raiding Reality.

Is it fair to blame Congress for these types of mistakes?

I think so. Here’s why: Since the late 1980s, Congress has made a bounty of surplus military gear available to local police departments, either at steeply discounted prices, or for free. Millions of pieces of equipment have been transferred this way. Once stocked with military-grade weaponry, local police departments look for ways to put their new equipment to use. So they form SWAT teams. More drug-war incentives from Congress-this time in the form of grants for drug arrests-then induce those departments to send the SWAT team out for routine warrant service of nonviolent drug suspects.

The result? An explosion in the number of “no-knock,”forced-entry type raids in the U.S. One criminologist who’s studied the phenomenon estimates that the number of SWAT “call-outs” in the U.S. has increased from about 3,000 per year in the 1980s to more than 40,000 per year today. It’s of no coincidence that this dramatic rise began in the early 1980s, just as we began ratcheting up the War on Drugs. http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/raiding-reality

In this video Mayor Cheye Calvo of Berwyn Heights, Maryland describes the errant SWAT drug raid on his home where his two dogs were shot.                                    http://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-video/cheye-calvo-details-swat-raid-killed-family-dogs

This interactive map highlights some of the botched paramilitary drug raids in this country which now happen at an estimated rate of 40,000 per year. These no knock drug raids are happening all too often on the homes of nonviolent drug offenders and people mistaken to be nonviolent drug offenders.            http://www.cato.org/raidmap

http://www.cato.org/news-releases/2006/7/17/time-curb-rise-deadly-paramilitary-police-raids

An 88 year old Atlanta woman is killed in a wrong house drug raid where she believed she was being victimized in a home invasion and fired a gun at police officers who quickly shot her to death.               http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/28/us/28atlanta.html?_r=2&ref=us&oref=slogin&

Cory Maye may have escaped the death penalty where he used a gun in what he believed was self-defense in a botched drug raid of his home. http://www.cato.org/blog/cato-policy-analyst-who-may-have-saved-mans-life

Buffalo, New York’s paramilitary SWAT team has found a use for their new toys. “Shock and Awe”. 78 people were arrested, 21 ounces of marijuana was confiscated along with 7 ounces of crack cocaine and 5 guns in the raids of almost 40 homes over a three-day period. This story highlights the way police are increasingly using other government entities such as housing and safety inspectors, Alcohol Beverage Control officers, or Game Wardens to circumvent the need for warrants to raid suspected drug dealers. So much for constitutional guarantees against illegal search and seizure.  http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/buffalos-stampede-against-privacy

Barry Cooper, a former narcotics officer in Texas who has made countless arrests found himself in trouble when he started busting relatives and friends of politicians. He came to realize that the practice of raiding homes of people looking for drugs was wrong and felt guilty about the atrocities involved with the raids he was involved in where Mom and Dad would be dragged to jail and their children taken to Child Protective Services over a bag of pot. He has fought back releasing a video http://www.nevergetbusted.com/  and written a book, “After Prohibition”. Barry is not alone where many law enforcement officers, attorneys and judges have broken ranks and formed Law Enforcement Against Prohibition http://www.leap.cc/.

This article and video from Reason.com highlight the tragedies involved, and lives destroyed by the war on drugs. Please watch. http://reason.com/blog/2011/06/18/reasontv-replay-lindy-no-knoc

I believe it is time to end this war on drugs. Prohibition is damaging our freedom and destroying our relationship with law enforcement. Our politicians seem oblivious to the damage to society from this failed war on drugs where countless lives and families are destroyed. America only has 5% of the world’s population but we have 25% of the planets prison population. Something is terribly wrong with this approach. Please call or write to your elected officials and let them know how you feel.

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

The Disparity of Prosecution in Drug Related Offences is Staggering

A deal worked out by the Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer has released top executives at HSBC from prosecution in a 1.9 billion dollar deal that allows them to escape prosecution for money laundering charges associated with the Mexican and Columbian drug cartels. Their punishment administered by HSBC is that their bonuses will be partially deferred. What a harsh way to treat those who looked the other way and helped as terrorists and murderers laundered billions of dollars over a decade of time. The Justice Department’s reasoning for allowing the non-prosecution fee (bribe) is that prosecuting top executives at HSBC would destabilize the financial institution causing ripples throughout the financial world. In a press release Breuer announced,  As a result of the government’s investigation, HSBC has . . . “clawed back” deferred compensation bonuses given to some of its most senior U.S. anti-money laundering and compliance officers, and agreed to partially defer bonus compensation for its most senior officials during the five-year period of the deferred prosecution agreement. The New York Times had this to say, “Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system.” The most criminal part in all of this is that the Justice Department did exactly the same thing, they took money to look the other way instead of prosecuting the crime. http://neilrockindpcblog.com/2012/12/18/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke/

For anyone who has ever been prosecuted for any drug violation or had their property confiscated in this failed war on drugs, this is a slap in the face. The poor and people of color are disproportionately prosecuted and persecuted in this failed war on drugs where their lives are destroyed and property taken. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf

Cornell Hood II was sentenced to life in prison for possesing two pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute in Louisiana. Louisiana is a state with a three strikes and your out policy. Sadly Cornell Hood II is not alone. The organization, http://lifeforpot.com/ has documented and tracked multiple cases similar to Hood’s where people are given extremely long sentences for non-violent marijuana charges. http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/581875/louisiana_man_gets_life_sentence…_for_weed

http://blog.norml.org/2011/05/10/americas-shameful-prohibition-life-sentences-for-marijuana/

 http://lifeforpot.com/

Look what happened to Cameron Douglas, the white son of well-known actor Michael Douglas who was given the longest federal prison sentence ever for simple possession. http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2012/05/cameron-douglas-son-actor-michael-douglas-given-longest-ever-federal-prison-sentence-im

Or Aaron Sandusky who received a ten-year prison sentence for operating a medical marijuana dispensary. Because he was being tried in federal court, he was not allowed to mention that his activities were legal under California law. So much for “the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.                                                http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/12/can-juror-nullification-save-aaron-sandu

http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_22325286/sandusky-sentenced-10-years-prison

What happened to Chris Williams, a medical marijuana distributor in Montana is equally disturbing. Williams who believed he had done nothing wrong and wanted to challenge federal interference in Montana’s medical marijuana laws was quickly found guilty of all 4 marijuana charges against him because in federal court, evidence suggesting that his activities were legal by Montana law were not allowed. Since the federal government tied firearm possession charges to each of the drug charges, Williams faced 80 years mandatory minimum sentencing on the weapon charges alone, even though he had not handled the firearms. U.S. Attorney Micheal Cotter offered to drop enough charges to allow Williams to serve less than ten years if he would drop his appeal in the case. Williams refused and Cotter came back with a final offer of five years in prison in exchange for dropping all appeals. Since the federal prosecutors had already won their case and were trying to lessen Williams sentence, it would seem that they also believed the mandatory sentencing to be egregiously too harsh. Yet to take five years from a mans life for helping medical marijuana patients acquire their medicine legally under state law still seems wrong to me. But to not allow a defendant to present all evidence relevent to his defense, such as the fact that his activities were legal under state law that was voted in by the citizens of that state is a horrible miscarriage of justice. What is your opinion?                                                 http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/02/plead-guilty-or-go-to-prison-for-life

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

Please Leave Medical Marijuana Alone

This was mailed to all members of Congress and the President Christmas Eve 2012. I will post replies as I get them.

Thanks and Merry Christmas

Randy Johnson

The continued war against medical marijuana defies logic on so many levels it is very hard to understand why the United States Government has taken its position on this issue. In July of 2011 the DEA ruled again that marijuana is dangerous and has no known medical use, yet past investigations and mountains of evidence refute these claims.

In 1972 NORML petitioned the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to have marijuana rescheduled from a Schedule 1 drug. After 16 years of stonewalling by the United States Government a hearing was finally scheduled in September 1988. DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young after hearing extensive testimony from patients and doctors on the medical benefits of marijuana proclaimed “In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many of the foods we commonly consume. For example eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. 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.” It was determined that marijuana was effective in controlling nausea associated with chemotherapy and also pain and spasms associated with Multiple Sclerosis. She recommended that marijuana be rescheduled to a Schedule 2 drug and that still has not happened. (Marijuana Rescheduling Petition Docket No. 86-22)

When the Controlled Substances Act became law in 1970 part of the law authorized a special federal commission to complete a comprehensive study into all aspects of marijuana use to confirm that marijuana should remain a schedule 1 drug. After 2 years of study it was claimed to be the most comprehensive study of marijuana ever done in the United States. On March 22, 1972 Richard Nixon was presented the report from the study entitled “Marijuana; A Signal of Misunderstanding”. The study refuted the claims by politicians and law enforcement of the negative effects and crime associated with marijuana. It claimed in plain language that marijuana use was not associated with violent behavior and even went on to say that it tends to pacify its users. The report stated that there is little evidence of any physiological or psychological damage to individuals from casual use and emphasized the fact that the overwhelming majority of marijuana users do not progress to other drugs. It also recommended that marijuana be rescheduled and that private possession and use should not be criminalized. It even called for Congress to remove all criminal penalties for possession, use, and sale of the drug. These recommendations were ignored by Richard Nixon and Congress who over the next few months declared war on drugs and labeled marijuana “Public Enemy Number One”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_on_Marihuana_and_Drug_Abuse

http://cannabis.net/politics/richard-nixon.html

Justice Gustin Reichbach of the New York state Supreme Court who just died July 14th, had been suffering from pancreatic cancer and he claimed marijuana gave him relief from nausea associated with chemotherapy in a moving op-ed piece in the New York Times this last May. “Because criminalizing an effective medical technique affects the fair administration of justice, I feel obliged to speak out as both a judge and a cancer patient suffering with a fatal disease. I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York, always considered a leader among states, to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year. Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us access to one substance that has proved to ameliorate our suffering.” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/opinion/a-judges-plea-for-medical-marijuana.html

Dr. Donald Tashkin has done an extensive 30 year study of marijuana on pulmonary function at the University of California and reviewed several other similar studies and come to the conclusion that using marijuana does not increase the occurrence of COPD nor does it increase the risks of head, neck or lung cancer even in heavy use. Video testimony by Dr. Tashkin can be seen at http://mmar.ca/multimedia.html. Dr. Tashkin has also stated that he favors the legalization of marijuana. The DEA is still quoting Dr Tashkin’s original hypothesis about marijuana use from about 20 years ago when he stated that marijuana has many of the same carcinogens as tobacco and believed marijuana may cause cancer. Dr Tashkin no longer believes that is true. In fact marijuana has been shown to have a mild cancer fighting effect.

According to http://www.reuters.com/ an Israeli company named Tikun Olam has developed a strain of marijuana called Avidekel with very low THC content but high in CBD (Cannabidiol) that has anti-inflammatory benefits without the psychoactive effects. Ruth Galily who works for the company and has been studying CBD for more than 12 years said CBD has impressive anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for treating diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Colitis, liver inflammation, heart disease and diabetes and has no side effects. Marijuana is used in Israel to treat Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/03/us-israel-marijuana-idUSBRE8620FU20120703

According to Time Healthland http://healthland.time.com/2012/06/14/10-reasons-to-revisit-marijuana-policy-now/ recent studies conclude marijuana is effective in treating opioid resistant pain associated with cancer, the spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another study concluded CBD another component of marijuana can treat schizophrenia as effective as prescription drugs without the side effects. Also THC and CBD have shown cancer fighting abilities against lung cancer.In the same article studies have found no link to crime associated with medical-marijuana dispensaries and real marijuana is probably far safer than the synthetic cannabinoids sold such as K2 or Spice.

A study titled Ganja in Jamaica- A Medical Anthropological Study of Chronic Marijuana Use by Vera Rubin and Lambros Comitas and sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health Center for Studies of Narcotic and Drug Abuse found no relation of marijuana use to crime except marijuana arrest, no impairment of motor skills, smokers and nonsmokers had identical work records and a battery of psychological test found no impairment of sensory and perceptual-motor performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability and cognitive style and tests of memory. Also the study found that the use of hard drugs is unknown among working class Jamaicans. These studies were confirmed by the 1980 Cannabis in Costa Rica- A study in Chronic Marijuana Use which found no discernible damage to the native population’s chronic marijuana users.

The American Medical Association House of Delegates as of October 16th 2011 is calling for the rescheduling of marijuana to allow for research into medical benefits of marijuana. Melvin Sterling, MD a California Medical Association delegate stated “Schedule 1 is very appropriate for heroin and other noxious substances that have no place in medicine, but cannabinoids are useful drugs. There is compelling research that cannabinoids are helpful in treating the spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and in persistent nausea associated with chemotherapy and they may have other uses yet undiscovered. Why are they undiscovered? Because it’s a schedule 1 drug.” The AMA House of Delegates stopped short of endorsing state-based medical marijuana programs and the legalization of marijuana or admitting marijuana meets standards for prescription drugs.

Amednews.com ran an article by Alicia Gallegos June 16 2012 about a handful of governors petitioning the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to have marijuana reclassified. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire and Rhodde Island Governor Lincoln Chefee had signed the petition as of Dec 2011. Colorado Governor John Hinkenlooper’s administration has made a similar request. According to Gregoire, poll after poll shows an overwhelming majority of Americans now see medical marijuana as legitimate with an ever-growing number of doctors telling thousands of patients that they might find relief in the use of marijuana. http://www.amaassn.org/amednews/2012/01/16/gvsc0116.htm#top

According to The Sacramento Bee http://www.sacbee.com/, over a dozen years, California’s historic experiment in medical marijuana research brought new science to the debate on marijuana’s place in medicine. State-funded studies costing $8.7 million found that marijuana may offer broad benefits for pain from nerve damage from injuries, HIV strokes and other conditions. Between 2002 and 2012, 7 completed trials, 5 published and 2 pending show that marijuana does have therapeutic value. According to Dr. Igor Grant a neuropsychiatrist who served as director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Research “ Every one of the studies showed a benefit, The convergence of evidence makes me convinced there is a medical benefit here, and there may be a niche for cannabis.” Grant said the listing of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug on par with heroin and LSD is completely at odds with existing science.http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/12/4625608/california-pot-research-backs.html

In an article at http://newsfeed.time.com/ : According to a U.N. report on global drug use, cannabis was the world’s most widely produced, trafficked, and consumed drug in the world in 2010. Marijuana boasts somewhere between 119 million and 224 million users in the adult population of the world (18 or older). And there are no signs to indicate the popularity of marijuana will fall anytime soon. Cannabis is consumed in some fashion in all countries, the report says, and it is grown in most. Though the use of the drug is stabilizing in North America, and Oceania, smoking pot is on the rise in West and Central Africa, Southern Africa, South Asia and Central Asia. In 2010, marijuana use was most prevalent in Australia and New Zealand. The U.S. and Canada came in second, followed by Spain, France, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Nigeria, Zambia, and Madagascar were tied for fourth place.   Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/29/marijuana-now-the-most-popular-drug-in-the-world/
With marijuana now being the worlds’ most popular recreational drug and evidence shows that it is far safer than the other most popular recreational drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Why does our government insist on refusing to allow 18 states to continue the medical marijuana experiment without the harassment of otherwise law-abiding citizens? These states voted in their right to access medical marijuana by due process and yet the Federal Government refuses to honor the will of the American people. There is really no good reason to keep marijuana illegal for recreational purposes, let alone forbidding the sick and dying the things that bring them relief. To forbid the sick and dying the things that bring them relief is nothing short of barbaric.

Marijuana prohibition has not stopped or even diminished its use. Many people enjoy using marijuana and historical evidence has failed to show that marijuana has caused appreciable damage to its users or society. While this may still be debatable about marijuana and I believe it is high time we had that debate, the evidence against alcohol and tobacco are no longer in question. Why not give people a safer alternative to the worst recreational drugs on the planet, alcohol and tobacco when considered by the number of people killed by these drugs every year and the damage to society from the violent crime associated with alcohol, and let people choose for themselves the safest recreational drug on the planet that is now the most popular drug in the world. While I am thrilled that people who are suffering find both palliative and curative relief with marijuana, I still believe that needing a doctor’s note to buy marijuana is like needing a prescription to buy beer. People who use and sell alcohol should remember the effect prohibition of alcohol had on America and Americans and be glad their freedom was restored. Our freedom should be no less important.

Beginning this article I mentioned that it is hard to understand our government’s reasons for its stance against medical marijuana use. It is not a lack of evidence supporting the use of marijuana for medical reasons and it can’t be that they are worried about our health, because marijuana is not nearly as harmful as tobacco or alcohol and some of the over the counter medicines available, when considered by the number of fatalities associated with each drug every year. And with millions of people currently using marijuana and scarce evidence of any damage to society or individual users, who and what are they protecting us from? Juvenile use would be easier to control if the people selling marijuana were required to check IDs to make sure customers were of appropriate age.
The only thing that makes any sense to me is that marijuana as a plant cannot be controlled and that our government may be protecting the Pharmaceutical Industry, the Alcohol Industry, the Tobacco Industry and others from competition with marijuana and hemp. These are industrial giants with enormous influence on our elected officials who are supposed to be charged with protecting our freedom. My question to them is, Have We Been Sold Out?

Randy Johnson
itsmycountrytoo.org

Is There Anything That Cannot Be Banned?

In an article at CBS New York, Great Neck, NY has banned cloths lines in front yards and also is seeking a ban of sofas on front porches. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/12/06/great-neck-village-board-bans-front-yard-clotheslines/

I’m guessing redneckery will soon be illegal as well. Solar clothes dryers have been illegal in many places in California for a number of years. Obviously some people are offended by the airing of laundry. But people are offended by many things and I don’t believe all things that are offensive should be illegal. Laws against clothes lines are selectively harmful to the poor. Cloths drying machines cost money to purchase and operate, while cloths lines are relatively cheap and cost nothing to operate. And what if the front yard is the only sunny area you have access to? Many local laws are passed because the people of that community are of a like mind and don’t want certain things in their community, such as dry counties and cities where the people have voted not to allow sales of alcohol or bars in their communities. Still in most of those places, it is still legal to possess alcohol for people of sufficient age, and I am fine with such laws. Even laws limiting public consumption are fine with me but some communities in Alaska have outlawed alcohol where it is treated as an illegal drug, such as marijuana or meth, and I believe that is taking the law a little to far, because a person would not be able to transport alcohol to his own home. http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/alaska-state-troopers/

But that is not the point I am trying to make. Communities make laws for innumerable reasons and laws such as the anti-cloths line laws may be directed at protecting property value more than punishing the poor but the results are the same. Free people are denied the full use of their property or rights to benefit someone else.

Our system of laws is constantly changing and growing with new laws added on a near continuous basis. Some laws are good laws, that protect and preserve society in beneficial ways and some are destructive to peace and the order of law. Laws that punish segments of society because of race, income or social status or just because they are different are destructive to peace and the order of law, like the Jim Crow laws following slavery. The same could be said for the laws against marijuana. Prohibition of marijuana is a very unkind thing to do to your neighbors and relatives that use marijuana. But still I am getting off topic. I have been talking about local laws. The state’s rights and people’s rights issues where any authority not granted to Congress is reserved to the states or to the people in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. State and local law is the perfect place to experiment with laws to find the right balance of law for society to live with, and to allow like-minded communities to prohibit those things which are deemed offensive or to allow things not welcomed in other places. Then the Constitution can be used to prevent states and local governments from taking rights we have because we’re Americans, like those enumerated in The Bill of Rights. http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/the-constitution

The Ninth Amendment states that the list of rights enumerated in the Constitution is not exhaustive, and that the people retain all rights not enumerated.

The Tenth Amendment assigns all powers not delegated to the United States, or prohibited to the states, to either the states or to the people.

The federal prohibition of marijuana and hemp is a good example of a bad law that is destructive to a peaceful society and the rule of law. Marijuana prohibition has also evolved over a number of years. At first the only concern was a lengthy prison sentence and fine. Now the use of marijuana makes our second amendment rights null and void without trial or representation and our government requires mandatory drug testing of all employees in any business that does business with the Federal Government making gainful employment difficult. No longer are we secure in our property as seizure of assets has become common for marijuana offenses. Rights against illegal searches are also being whittled away and if we have marijuana around our children, the government could take them away as well. Would people be outraged if children were removed from the parents custody if beer or wine was discovered in their refrigerator? Laws that people believe are unjust will not be followed. Prohibition of marijuana will not work for the same reasons prohibition of alcohol did not work. Prohibition also causes a social barrier between law enforcement and a large segment of society, increasing mistrust and decreasing respect for law. By prohibiting a product that people desire, prohibition forces people to seek illegal means to acquire what they want. This criminal element has no legal means to settle business disputes available which increases violence. While the use of marijuana may be harmful to society to some degree, using prohibition to punish marijuana use only exacerbates the problem. If this were being done at the local level people would at least have the option to vote with their feet, but with Federal prohibition we have nowhere to go. This is our country too. Is America not big enough for all of us? If not, where should we go?

Please call or write to your Congressmen, Senators and President and let them know how you feel. Or print off an article you agree with, add notes and send that to them. Please help end this unjust war on fellow Americans. Please call for an end to Federal marijuana prohibition.

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

White House Responds to Petitions About Legalizing Marijuana

The White House has responded to several of the petitions to end federal prohibition of marijuana. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/what-we-have-say-about-marijuana-and-hemp-production The response cites sources on their concerns about marijuana use. From the health aspect the White House cites The National Institute of Drug Abuse  http://www.drugabuse.gov/ where the health problems associated with marijuana smoking are discussed such as memory loss, bronchitis, psychosis and the risk of cancer. Also cited are the instance of emergency room treatment in association with drug abuse at.  http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k10/DAWN034/EDHighlights.htm  And voluntary substance abuse treatment at. http://oas.samhsa.gov/TEDS2k7highlights/TEDSHighl2k7Tbl3.htm

The White House also denies that marijuana has any medical use, citing that no sound scientific studies support medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States. It also states that marijuana is a dangerous drug that belongs in the schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act . Reality paints a much different picture where 18 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana programs, 2 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes and mountains of evidence now support marijuana as a treatment for a myriad of different ailments.

“Marijuana is listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the most restrictive schedule. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which administers the CSA, continues to support that placement and FDA concurred because marijuana met the three criteria for placement in Schedule I under 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1) (e.g., marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision). Furthermore, there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful. A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use. There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.” http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2006/ucm108643.htm

The response also claims that marijuana potency has tripled over the last 20 years raising serious concerns about the safety of marijuana use. This argument has little meaning when we consider that most people smoke only to the point where they reach a comfortable high. It is like comparing beer to hard liquor. Would it be reasonable to assume people would drink the same amount of alcohol by volume if they were drinking 3.2% beer or 151 proof rum?                            http://home.olemiss.edu/~suman/potancy%20paper%202010.pdf

The White House also has specific claims to the efficiency of substance abuse treatments.  http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/frequently-asked-questions

And the use of drug courts which require the defendant to plead guilty and pay for substance abuse treatment or counseling and submit to periodic and random drug testing also at their own expense for at least 1 year, where any failure will result in the original sentence being administered resulting in incarceration. This also drives up the number of people involved in voluntary substance abuse treatment even if they volunteered to avoid incarceration or just to save their job. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/frequently-asked-questions

It is worth noting that the only sources listed are government-funded and controlled. In the SAMSHA.gov reports about emergency room treatments it is also worth noting that the results are skewed because adult use of alcohol (age 21 and up) is deliberately left out of the results, leaving the impression that emergency room treatment associated with marijuana use is almost as prevalent as that of alcohol. It is also interesting that marijuana is listed alone but alcohol is listed alone and as used with other drugs. It would be a better comparison if all parameters were equal. It is also worth noting that just because the drug was listed as associated with an emergency room visit, it may not be the cause or the reason for the emergency room visit, just that it was noted that the patient was under the influence.

Table 1. Drug-Related Emergency Department (ED) Visits, by Type of Visit: 2009
Type of Drug-Related ED Visit Number of ED Visits* Percent*
Total Drug-Related ED Visits 4,595,263 100.0%
Drug Misuse or Abuse 2,070,439   45.1%
Misuse or Abuse of Pharmaceuticals 1,244,679   27.1%
Illicit Drug Use    973,591   21.2%
Alcohol Involvement**    658,263   14.3%
Alcohol Involvement with Drug Use    519,650   11.3%
Underage Drinking    199,429     4.3%
Adverse Reactions 2,287,273   49.8%
* Because each visit may represent multiple types of visits and multiple types of drugs, the estimates add to more than the total number of visits and the percentages add to more than 100. ** Alcohol involvement includes use of alcohol in combination with other drugs for patients of all ages and use of alcohol only for persons aged 20 or younger. Underage drinking includes both use of alcohol in combination with other drugs and use of alcohol only for persons aged 20 or younger. Source: 2009 SAMHSA Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN).

 

Table 2. Misused or Abused Drugs Most Commonly Involved in Emergency Department (ED) Visits: 2009
Drugs Number of ED Visits Number of ED Visits per 100,000 Population
Alcohol in Combination with Other Drugs*    519,650 169.3
Underage Drinking**    199,429 227.2
Illicit Drugs    973,591 317.1
Cocaine    422,896 137.7
Marijuana    376,467 122.6
Heroin    213,118   69.4
Pharmaceuticals 1,244,679 405.4
Pain Relievers    595,551 194.0
Narcotic Pain Relievers    397,160 129.4
Oxycodone Products    175,949   57.3
Hydrocodone Products    104,490   34.0
Drugs to Treat Insomnia and Anxiety    433,600 141.2
Benzodiazepines    373,328 121.6
Antidepressants    104,940   34.2
* Use of alcohol in combination with other drugs is recorded by DAWN for patients of all ages. ** Underage drinking includes both use of alcohol in combination with other drugs and use of alcohol only for persons aged 20 or younger. Source: 2009 SAMHSA Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN).

The White house also reported that they have increased the funding for the Drug Free Communities Support Program where 7.9 million dollars was added to the already 76.7 million dollar annual funding for organizations such as http://www.drugfree.org/. That is a lot of money that these organizations have available for advertising to keep public opinion against marijuana. If you are tired of the prohibition of marijuana and want change, then we must act. Inaction will always produce zero results. If we do nothing, nothing will change. We must tell our elected officials that we want change and describe what kind of change. We must also raise public awareness of our desires and encourage public debate. The best way to accomplish that is through advertising. Please donate generously so that I can resume advertising. The opposition already has 84.6 million dollars to use for advertising given to them out of your taxes. Also please call or write to your elected representatives and let them know how you feel.

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

Who Wants A Drug Free Society?

Who really wants a drug free society? Are they serious? Would they eliminate all drugs or just the ones they don’t like? Would alcohol and tobacco be included in the drug ban? What about pharmaceutical drugs that only add value to life and have no curative properties such as Viagra or Celebrex. Would pain medications be forbidden? Should all drugs be given under a doctors advice? What about all the over the counter medications currently available for a myriad of different maladies? Don’t we have the right to self medicate? Isn’t that what over the counter medications are all about?

It is almost impossible to watch television or read a magazine without seeing an ad for some kind of drug. We live in a society where almost any medical complaint we may have, has a drug available to either cure it or at least control the symptoms, drugs to grow hair on our heads and drugs to cure athletes feet and everything in between. It is hard to believe anyone would want to eliminate drugs from society and I do not believe that is the intention of organizations such as. http://www.drugfree.org/   The Partnership at Drugfree.org is a drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resource, existing to help parents and caregivers effectively address alcohol and drug abuse with their teens and young adults. A noble cause I would say. Why would anyone want to give recreational drugs to children? The problem I have with drugfree.org is that they are also prohibitionists who advocate for the elimination and criminalization of all recreational drugs and they consider any use as abuse. All drug use is not abuse. People have been using alcohol and other drugs to celebrate life and self medicate for thousands of years. As long as we can do so responsibly, what is the problem?

One of the problems with prohibition is that it removes the regulatory process where drug sales can be limited as age appropriate like alcohol. With no legal outlet for a product that many Americans want such as marijuana, a black market emerges to supply the demand. This will always happen when things are forbidden that people want. Laws that people believe are unjust will always be ignored and respect for law enforcement is eroded in the process. Crime increases as respect for unjust laws decrease. It becomes a society polarized by public desires and a prohibitionist attitude. Hatred, fear and mistrust grow as each side struggles for the upper hand in this conflict. Prisons are built to house those that are unfortunate enough to get caught and families are torn apart in the process. An honest educational health based prevention process would likely be more effective. When our government says that marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical use, their credibility comes into question. Reality paints a much different picture where 18 states and Washington DC have medical marijuana programs and 2 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. The people who use marijuana are harmed more by society at the hand of our judicial system than the harm caused by marijuana. I am not saying that marijuana use is harmless, but the harm caused by prohibition far outweighs the harm caused by marijuana use. As adults that choice should be ours. As adults we should be able to celebrate life on our own terms as long as we do so responsibly. To take away that right is at odds with the principles of freedom that our country was founded on. We still have a long way to go to prevent drug use by underage users but I believe honest, health based education is the key. Our children are smart enough to know when they are being deceived.

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

LEAP Urges The Justice Department to Honor the Will of Voters

In a blog at the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition web site, http://www.leap.cc/, 73 judges, police officers, prosecutors, and federal officers signed a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder November 20th, urging him and the Justice Department to honor the will of the voters in Colorado and Washington.

The words of Executive director Neill Franklin say it best when considering the failure of the war against marijuana.

“We seem to be at a turning point in how our society deals with marijuana,” said
Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the
group that authored the letter. “The war on marijuana has funded the expansion
of drug cartels, it has destroyed community-police relations and it has fostered
teenage use by creating an unregulated market where anyone has easy access.
Prohibition has failed. Pretty much everyone knows it, especially those of us
who dedicated our lives to enforcing it. The election results show that the
people are ready to try something different. The opportunity clearly exists for
President Obama and Attorney General Holder to do the right thing and respect
the will of the voters.”

The letter sent to Eric Holder can be read at; http://copssaylegalize.blogspot.com/2012/11/law-enforcement-leaders-ask-department.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LawEnforcementAgainstProhibition+%28Law+Enforcement+Against+Prohibition%29

Please contact your representatives in Washington and let them know you also want an end to marijuana prohibition.

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

Petition To End Prohibition of Marijuana

I just signed a petition to legalize marijuana at the official White House petition site https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/treat-marijuana-alcohol-throughout-us-enacting-hr-2306-ending-federal-marijuana-prohibition-act-2011/KVdSpGP3?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

The petition is in reference to the HR 2306 bill introduced by Barney Frank; Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011. When I signed the petition, it had 3,295 signatures and needs 21,705 more signatures to reach the minimum goal of 25,000 in 30 days by December 18th. Apparently anyone can start a petition on any subject as many have recently done on petitions to have their home states to secede from the United States. There are 249 petitions at the time of this post on different subjects. Some of the petitions are serious and some not so serious such as; a petition to require all states to allow concealed carry permits for all law-abiding U.S citizens, a petition to bring back incandescent light bulbs and a petition to transfer funds from the war on drugs to be used for research and developement of the genetic engineering of domestic cat girls.

While I do not support the genetic engineering of cat girls, it would be nice if all states honored the 2nd amendment of our Constitution. It would also be nice to get the Federal Government out of the business of trying to ruin the lives of marijuana users through prosecution and persecution. Please sign the petition and call or write to your elected officials and let them know how you feel. They can be reached at.

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

Smoking marijuana may not be the right thing to do.

Using marijuana may not be the right thing to do and its use may in fact turn out to be bad for us in ways we never imagined. Who knows what ills may befall us from indulging in marijuana. I can’t predict the future but I don’t believe any results good or bad will be universal. The evidence to date, if the lies told by our government are to be discounted, are that marijuana use does not seem to increase mortality and may even have some curative properties. I use marijuana knowing it may cause me harm and I’ll take my chances. If I start endangering people or causing offense, feel free and with my blessings make me stop. I have no desire to cause harm or offense to anyone. All I want is to live my life at peace with society.

But what is wrong, is for our elected officials to take away our right to make decisions about our own personal health and safety and our right to live our lives as we see fit. It doesn’t just affect marijuana users but people all across America who just want to live their lives in peace. Recent stories in the news have been about people cited and prosecuted for lemonade stands, home gardens, trapping rain water on your own land, smoking in your own house, selling or drinking raw milk, selling large sugary drinks and Michelle Obama with her Presidential Executive Authority has put all school children on a diet. I for one am outraged by the audacity of people in society to even think they should have that much control over anyone. We are supposed to be a free people, free to decide for ourselves how we want to live our lives. My personal use of marijuana certainly does not put me in as much risk as some other activities people regularly participate in. The alleged harm caused by marijuana to users and society has been grossly overstated and the motivation for the misinformation remains unclear. Even if the allegations of harm to the individual were true, it still would not justify taking away our freedom. Whatever reason our government has for continuing this war against fellow Americans, I see no justification for it. If there is something about marijuana use that harms society what is it?

Tolerance for diversity among people and their differing habits and customs is essential to maintaining freedom. We cannot limit someone elses freedom without limiting our own. In fact freedom is similar to love in that it only works when we give it to others even when they do things we may not like or approve of. If other people’s activities do not harm us or infringe on our freedom we should not prevent them. If those activities are offensive, or indecent, then public decency laws can be used to prevent public display. The use of prohibition as a tool to prevent unwanted activity only serves to drive that activity out of public view while harming our relationship with law enforcement and creating an illegal trade market and an increase in violent crime as the court system is no longer an option to settle business disputes. Also with any illegal market, regulating purchases as age appropriate becomes impossible.

I understand why people do not want their children exposed to drugs including alcohol. I believe marijuana should be regulated by age like alcohol. But to deny adults an option to alcohol that is safer and less harmful, not only to themselves but to society as well, only causes harm to society and diminishes our freedom.

Please call or write to your Congressman, Senator and President and tell them to restore our freedom.

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

End the War on Marijuana Now

This letter was mailed today to the President, all members of the United States Congress and to several news organizations to try to reach as many Americans as possible.

To the President of the United States, to members of the United States Congress, and to all Americans,
As Americans we are supposed to be a free people. Our Declaration of Independence even goes so far as to state that we have unalienable rights ordained by God and among those rights are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. These three items encompass the whole of how we choose to live our lives from the choices we make about religion to the type of food we choose to consume and how much. It also encompasses our choices of what are acceptable risks for us in our daily lives and our right to self-defense. If we are not allowed to choose what risks are acceptable for us as individuals we are not free at all, but only free to do as we are told. In short, decisions about our own personal health and safety are ours. They do not belong to society or to those who govern us. Our freedom was paid for with the blood of fellow Americans. The most sacred trust we have in our elected officials is that they protect that freedom.
The war against marijuana and the people who use marijuana is a direct assault on those rights and needs to end immediately. We are not the enemy of this country, we are Americans. We have been legally separated from society, labeled criminals, denied employment, had our children removed from our custody, had our property seized, stripped of our Second Amendment rights, and are no longer secure in our personal property due to improper searches. We have neither been represented nor had a chance to present any defense in face of the accusations of our supposed harm to society. Should we not have had a day in court before being stripped of our constitutional rights?
It is time for these hostilities to end. It is time to end the war against marijuana and the people who use it. Our freedoms are just as important as anyone else’s. Of the 3 most common recreational drugs, alcohol, tobacco and marijuana; marijuana is the safest from a medical standpoint and safer than alcohol from an at risk behavior standpoint. What is so horrible about marijuana that society must try to ruin our lives? We are not harming this country. If marijuana use is so offensive that it cannot be seen in public, then forbid public display, but stop ruining people’s lives for choosing a drug that is safer for the individual and society than alcohol or tobacco and leave us alone. All we really want is to live in peace with society. We are not the enemy, we are Americans.
Please support house bill H.R 2306 titled “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011
Randy Johnson
806-275-9228
itsmycountrytoo.org
imctmail@cableone.net
706 S. McGee St.
P.O. Box 5170
Borger, TX 79008-5170

Legalize Marijuana Now

In order for marijuana to be legalized at the Federal level several things must change.

First public opinion must change. As long as 50% or more of Americans believe that marijuana is just as bad as or worse than alcohol its use will remain illegal. A very public national advertising campaign portraying marijuana users in an honest and open fashion and presenting facts disputing our governments misinformation campaign would do our cause a great deal of good. Most of us are not in a position to speak out for ourselves but if we have a spokesperson who would present our case to the public, we could educate and possibly change the minds of people who still believe that our government should be in the business of trying to ruin the lives of those who use marijuana. But as you know advertising is expensive. Estimates of how many people currently use marijuana are varied but an estimate of six to ten percent of the population would not be unreasonable. That’s 20 to 30 million of us. Just a few dollars from each of us would purchase a lot of advertising and as you have likely heard “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”.

Second our politicians must be convinced that we will accept nothing less than the same freedom afforded people who use alcohol. There is no moral difference between using alcohol or marijuana and there shouldn’t be a legal difference either. This is the easiest and likely the most effective thing we can do. Hand written letters or even form letters get a lot of attention from our leaders. The main thing is we must make our wishes heard. As long as we remain silent nothing will change. This is something we can all do and it costs little. A sheet of paper and a few minutes of time a stamp and an envelope is all that is necessary. NORML and MPP have a very good system for contacting your elected officials along with editable form letters to mail or e-mail your representatives. All you need is your Zip Code to get their contact information. I will also post  letters to print and mail.The main thing is to be heard and this is a safe way to express yourself without fear of losing you job. Just be respectful as threats and name calling will do nothing to advance our cause.

I don’t want give the impression that this is going to be an easy fight. Marijuana has been illegal for a long time and there are a lot of people who still believe Reefer Madness is an accurate portrayal of marijuana use. There are also a few large industries that will be opposed to legalization because if marijuana is legal they will lose revenue through competition with hemp and marijuana. Immediately upon legalization the pharmaceutical industry will lose money through competition as will the alcohol industry. Soon to follow will be the prison industry, the pulp wood industry, the cotton industry and petrochemical industry. These are industrial giants with enormous influence on our leadership in Washington and they will not let this happen without a fight. But I believe if we are persistent and make enough noise we will win because the laws against marijuana are built on lies and misinformation and we have the truth on our side.

I would love to be your spokesperson and let America know of the injustice we suffer because of laws built on lies that demonize marijuana users. We are not the enemy of this country we are Americans and we deserve equal freedom. I urge each of you to voice your opinion to your Congressmen, Senators and the President. I also urge each of you to vote. Educate yourselves about the candidates and the issues and vote for the person you believe will serve us best. I also ask that you give generously and often so that we can be heard on a national level to show people that we are not the demons of society that our government has portrayed us as. But as normal Americans who love their country. We are not the enemy we are Americans.

Randy Johnson
itsmycontrytoo.org