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

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

Whats Wrong With Paramilitary Raids

The war on drugs has led this nation to a point where citizens should have a real fear of encounters with police. All too often innocent people are shot in their own homes in a violent raid at the hands of paramilitary police looking for drugs. All too often these raids are at the wrong address. The police typically enter the home in the wee hours of the morning when people are asleep. When startled awake by police, breaking down your door and yelling, while storming through your house with flash bang grenades, assault weapons and lights, the victims of these invasions are in real danger. For one thing the police are likely scared and are looking for anything that may be perceived as a threat and ready to respond with deadly force to make sure they are not harmed. But people do not always react the way you would expect them to, especially when startled, scared, and half awake. Many people have firearms in their homes for self-defense, others may have a bat or a golf club and we all have the right to defend our homes. But anything in your hand, like a phone, or just having your hands where the police cannot see them is likely to cause them to panic and start shooting. The justification for this type of raid seems to be that the suspect may try to destroy evidence. In my line of thinking, if they have enough evidence for a paramilitary raid on someone’s home, then why are they worried about further evidence? This type of raid puts the whole family at risk. Typically the family dog is shot, the family is herded into one room in their underwear and held at gunpoint while the house is torn apart. Sometimes family members, even children are shot by mistake.  Wouldn’t it be safer to arrest the person at work or in a traffic stop, and then go search their house without the violence of a home invasion that endangers everyone involved. More and more we are treated as though we were the enemy of America instead of citizens. I think it is a pretty heavy hand in fighting a war against people who rarely ever fight back. In fact, I can’t remember a violent protest against marijuana prohibition, ever. The only violence I have seen would be from the crime syndicates who supply the drugs because our government won’t allow a legal source. Most of that violence is infighting between drug gangs that are fighting for turf to protect their market or settle disputes. All the other violence in the war on drugs is directed towards the users at the hand of law enforcement. It’s a very one-sided war, where drug users are not even allowed to own guns or ammunition by Federal Law. A right I might add, that was stripped from them without trial, representation or justification over a decade after the government declared war on them.

Police are almost never held accountable for mistakes in these raids. Accidental shootings are said to be justified if the police say they perceived a threat, even when they get the wrong house. Police have lost respect for our privacy and our rights against illegal searches and the Supreme Court has ruled that dogs may authorize searches. Some people have tried fighting back, by video taping the police’s actions as evidence of abuse, but this often brings wrath from law enforcement. People are arrested and phones or cameras are confiscated even though the Supreme Court has ruled that police can have no expectation of privacy in public law enforcement and video taping of police is legal. Congress seems to support these paramilitary raids by making military equipment and weapons available to local police either free or heavily discounted and offering grants for police departments to train for and conduct these raids. The Cato Institute tracks these raids and even has an interactive map highlighting errors made by law enforcement where innocent people are targeted by these raids and where needless deaths and injuries have occurred.

No Knock Raid preformed by Lindy (caution graphic images)

It all seems to swing on the premise that we as a society must eliminate drug use. Is it really that important to have the illusion of a drug free society that no one actually wants anyway? We all use drugs in one form or another. Anyone who claims otherwise in just not being honest. We use drugs to feel better. Most of the drugs we take are not curative, but only designed to alleviate some symptom and anyone who still believes alcohol is not a drug is delusional. We take drugs as a social catalyst, to relax, to correct sexual dysfunction, for restless legs, depression, pain relief, weight loss, to stay awake and for energy just to name a few reasons. It’s almost impossible to turn on a television without seeing an ad for some drug or a law firm wanting to represent people to sue a drug manufacturer for some unwanted side effect of a drug. Just because people use a drug, doesn’t mean they are sick or criminal, any more than you would consider that for those who use alcohol. We’re just people trying to get through life the best way we know how. What is so horrible about using marijuana that would justify a war against us?

Randy Johnson

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323848804578608040780519904.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

http://reason.com/archives/2013/07/03/commit-any-felonies-lately

http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/27/shot-four-times-by-undercover-deputy-and

http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/17/attorney-leaks-dash-cam-video-of-police

http://reason.com/blog/2012/01/06/one-cop-dead-five-injured-in-would-be-ro

http://www.wmctv.com/story/20568356/mpd-officer

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/police-militarization-an-interview-with-radley-balko

http://reason.com/blog/2013/03/04/the-dhss-latest-toy-we-have-gunports-so

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/03/05/55432.htm

http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/16/45-million-settlement-for-family-of-unar

http://www.timesdispatch.com/opinion/our-opinion/columnists-blogs/bart-hinkle/hinkle-commit-any-felonies-lately/article_58344fc1-7d4f-584a-8d16-36a1b1f2cdc0.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/questions-arise-after-a-19-year-old-suspect-is-killed-in-frederick-raid/2013/06/14/de47aa2a-b809-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/autopsy-report-gives-details-in-death-of-man-with-down-syndrome-at-md-theater/2013/03/27/43848e64-971a-11e2-b68f-dc5c4b47e519_story.html

http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/14/constitutionally-illiterate-michael-bloo

http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/11/cops-shoot-man-in-bed-shooting-ruled-jus

We Have Rights Our Government Refuses To Honor And Obligations We Have Neglected

Recently I have noticed that a large percentage of people I have talked to, did not know who Edward Snowden is. Most would add that news is depressing and they try to avoid it. Even my wife has told me the same thing. She avoids news because it is depressing. But we all suffer from information overload. In our society, we are constantly bombarded with new and often unimportant information mixed with information that we need, so it is not in our best interest to ignore it. We take it all in and filter what we believe is relevant or important and ignore the rest. We also live in a society where communication is almost as easy as looking at a watch and entertainment is as close as our phone. We can play interactive games, text, watch movies and surf the internet virtually anywhere, yet we have become disconnected from the things I believe are most important. Keeping watch over those we elected to lead us and protect our freedom.

Those we elected to represent us in government have failed to protect our rights and to uphold their oath of office. They refuse to acknowledge our second amendment as a right and treat it more as a privilege that can be legislated away incrementally, locally as well as at the federal level. All Constitutional rights and natural rights should be the same in any state or territory in our union. It is the job of Congress, the President and the Supreme Court to uphold the Constitution of The United States of America as the supreme law of the land and protect our freedom, yet those in office are constantly looking for ways to circumvent the Constitution. Greed and corruption are rampant and it has become business as usual for Congress to pass laws favoring one business over another to create wealth and reward campaign contributions. A revolving door system of bureaucrat’s go back and forth from the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, the same can be said for companies like Monsanto and Cargill and the Department of Agriculture and the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies. Lobbyists from the richest and most powerful industries meet in private with members of Congress and the President and form federal policy and law without the voice of the people. If and when our rights, get in the way of this profit machine, government lawyers look for ways around the Constitution and our freedom suffers. Our fourth amendment rights against unlawful searches has also been attacked. Our elected leaders have allowed and likely encouraged the NSA, FBI, DHS, CIA and who knows what other government agency to view and record all of our phone, text, email, banking records and now the IRS will have access to all of our medical records. Even the Supreme Court which is supposed to be the last line of defense against unconstitutional laws passed by legislature, unanimously decided that dogs can authorize searches.

We have failed as well, in our obligations as citizens of society and to our government. We must work if we can and support our government by paying taxes, obey the laws and be willing to serve as jurors in the judicial process. We also are obligated to watch over those we elect to lead us and hold them accountable when they fail to uphold the Constitution. We are also obligated to come to our country’s defense if needed in time of war or any other national calamity. Regardless of whether we agree with one another, we have to live in this country together and find a way to get along. Yet we continue to push our elected officials to pass laws to keep us safe or to keep us from being offended. That leads them to pass laws that restrict freedom in almost all cases. Free people are no longer allowed to act on their freedom for fear of offending someone or getting sued. Communities are passing laws preventing all kinds of things such as smoking, gardening, clothes lines and lemonade stands. Our children were put on a diet by Federal mandate and one child was expelled from school for chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. Reason and common sense have given way to panic and hysteria where knee jerk reactions from our leaders further our loss of freedom. Discipline among our children has been lost and the judicial system has become the backup plan and we have the largest per capita prison population of any nation on earth. What happened to the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”?

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

White House Blames Marijuana For Crime But Omits Data On Alcohol

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recently released a 2012 study about drug use and crime titled “Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program II” which stated that marijuana is prevalent in a large percentage of arrests for crime. Curiously missing in the study, as reported by Reason Magazine is the data on the prevalence of alcohol use in these arrests. Reason has filed a freedom of information request for the missing data after a Twitter inquiry was stonewalled by the ONDCP Communications Director Rafael Lemaitre. The text of the Twitter feed can be read with the Reason article at. http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/28/why-did-the-drug-czars-office-withhold-a

Alcohol consumption by volume and frequency of use were in the questions asked of the arrestees but that data was eliminated from the report. See page ten, Exhibit 2.1 to see the questions posed to the participants. http://www.scribd.com/doc/143455182/2012-ANNUAL-REPORT-ARRESTEE-DRUG-ABUSE-MONITORING-PROGRAM-II

Official White House Policy, “Only release information that furthers the cause of marijuana prohibition and hide the truth when it does not”. The war on marijuana is a horrible and hateful miscarriage of justice, perpetuated with lies and misinformation to protect big business from competition or loss from legal marijuana. Millions of lives and families have been harmed by this unjust war so far. How long will we continue to tolerate this kind of interference in our lives by our government. We aren’t free if we can’t make decisions about our own health and safety.

Update to original article:

The Drug Czar’s office responded to why they omitted data on alcohol in the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring report.

Last week, we released the 2012 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Annual Report (ADAM II), a long running study that reveals the percentage of arrestees in certain U.S. cities/counties testing positive for at least one illegal drug at the time of arrest….Typically, however, the annual ADAM report does not include findings about alcohol use. Why? Here are three reasons:

1. Simply put, the nexus between alcohol use and crime is already well documented….Moreover, there are already many other surveys that compare rates of legal drug use to illegal drug use….What’s harder to investigate, however, are emerging trends in illegal drug use – which fluctuate and shift more widely compared to alcohol – at the local level, and among a highly transient, often homeless criminal justice population.

2. The ADAM II study doesn’t test arrestees for alcohol in the first place. One of the primary characteristics that make the ADAM II survey unique is that it collects bioassay data (urinalysis) from arrestees within 48 hours of arrest (as opposed to larger surveys such as NSDUH that rely solely on a questionnaire). Since ADAM II only tests for certain illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines/methamphetamine, Darvon, PCP, benzodiazepines, methadone, and barbiturates), there are no data on positive alcohol results to report in the study.

As part of the data collection process, some questions are asked about alcohol use, but since the focus of the annual report is on the drug test results, the findings from the alcohol questions are not included in the report. However, in keeping with the scientific principles of transparency and accessibility and Administration policy, ONDCP makes the complete ADAM II raw data file available to researchers so they can conduct their own analyses. These raw data are available for previous years of ADAM data collection through the University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data warehouse used by many Federal agencies to make their data available to the research community. (Users must first register with the ICPSR and sign a user’s agreement, and more recent years data will be available there soon).

3. The primary focus of ONDCP is to reduce illegal drug use and its consequences. A component of the Executive Office of the President, ONDCP was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (you can read our Congressional authorization here). Accordingly, ONDCP’s primary mission has focused on efforts to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.

Associate Editor Mike Riggs of Reason Magazine is still disappointed in the response because the information requested from the ONDCP is still not available. Data on alcohol from previous years of the same report is available as raw data from a third-party, but only up to 2010.

These raw data are available for previous years of ADAM data collection through the University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data warehouse used by many Federal agencies to make their data available to the research community. (Users must first register with the ICPSR and sign a user’s agreement, and more recent years data will be available there soon). http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/28/drug-czars-office-admits-to-omitting-alc

 

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

How Will Washington D.C. Respond To Legal Marijuana

In an interview with publication Maclean’s of Canada, Gil Kerlikowske, The U.S. drug czar may have shed a little light on future federal policy concerning Colorado and Washington’s voters decision to legalize marijuana. Gil Kerlikowske said “You’ll continue to see enforcement against distributors and large-scale growers as the Justice Department has outlined. They will use their limited resources on those groups and not on going after individual users.” He went on to say that he did not see marijuana as a human or civil right issue, but as a public health issue. As the interview moved into prescription drug abuse and the influx of Canadian pharmaceuticals where he suggested tamper resistant medications that would not crush or gel when mixed with water. He also touted that our drug interdiction officers work closely with lawmakers to increase manpower in troubled areas. He is also in favor of mandatory drug rehab saying that people who go to rehab voluntarily or under court order have virtually the same success rate. Then he made what I believe is a stupid statement. Speaking about prescription drug abuse he said, “It continued to grow up until this last year at astronomical levels. More people dying of prescription drug abuse than heroin and cocaine combined. After marijuana, we see prescription drugs as the next most significant drug problem we have. It has covered every demographic, age, race, ethnicity, gender. And it’s a bit disproportionate in poor and rural areas.” If more people are dying from prescription drug abuse than heroin and meth combined, how is marijuana the most significant drug problem we have when virtually no one dies from marijuana use and the public health issue is grossly overstated. Where is the damage to society that justifies this heavy hand from the Justice Department against marijuana. I believe the message here is that we can expect more of the same from federal authorities. They will continue to ignore the will of the people, raid and prosecute growers and distributors and anyone who gains enough notoriety to deserve their attention. Also I would expect the harassment of property owners and property confiscations to continue, but it is unlikely that they would ever have the manpower to go after individual users of recreational or medical marijuana. Eric Holder is promising an official response soon. He might say something different but I don’t have a lot of hope. These changes need to come from Congress.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/02/11/on-the-perils-of-pot-legalization-and-how-canada-creates-drug-problems-for-the-u-s/

http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/11/obamas-own-drug-czar-is-now-publicly-cri

http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/26/eric-holder-says-doj-will-respond-to-leg

http://house.gov/

http://www.senate.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

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

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

——————

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,
——————
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,
——————
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.
——————–
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.
——————-
Whereas by this declaration we provide the opportunity and impudence for representatives to engage in good faith negotiations which will lead to peaceful coexistence
———————
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.
———————-
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.
———————-
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.
—————-
Sincerely,

[Your name]
Dan Richeson

The $100,000 Challenge by Jack Herer

In the book “The Emperor Wears No Cloths” by Jack Herer, he presents a challenge for anyone to prove that he is wrong that hemp could meet all the world’s energy needs while reversing the greenhouse effect, stopping deforestation and providing the overall majority of all of the worlds paper and textiles, while reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere. What a boastful statement. With the information available to all of us through the world-wide web, it should be easy to gather enough information to claim such a prize, except for one thing. It is very likely true when one considers how versatile and useful hemp can be. Please do not confuse hemp with marijuana in this context, I am only talking about hemp with such miniscule amounts of THC that it would be impossible to be used as a recreational drug, although it is still banned by the Controlled Substance Act and enforced by the DEA. The hemp plant has been used throughout history for cordage, textiles, paper, food and oil. It was grown by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and was even legal tender for a period of time in the beginning of our nation. Laws were passed requiring people to grow hemp and punishments applied to those who did not comply. Benjamin Franklin started one of America’s first paper mills using hemp as the feedstock so his free press would not have top rely on England as a source for paper. Thomas Jefferson even went to great expense and faced considerable danger when he was envoy to France to acquire hemp seed from China. The Chinese so valued their hemp seed that they were protected from exportation under the penalty of death. The War of 1812 and Napoleon’s invasion of Russia were all about access to hemp. Hemp was vital to the discovery of America and the building of our nation.

Hemp seed has been used as food by virtually all people of the world up until the twentieth century. Hemp seed protein and oils are one of mankind’s most complete single food sources for human and animal nutrition. Only soybeans have a higher protein content than hemp seed, but the protein in hemp seed is 65% globulin edestine combined with albumin and it contains all the essential amino acids in ideal proportions for proper health. Hemp seed are also the highest source of essential fatty acids (linolenic and linoleic acids) in the plant kingdom. These essential fatty acids have been successfully used to treat a variety of maladies from cancer and heart disease to kidney degeneration and immune deficiency by Dr. Johanna Budwig. http://openlibrary.org/authors/OL2108784A/Johanna_Budwig

As a textile, hemp makes warmer,softer, longer wearing fabrics than cotton and does not require the fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides required to grow cotton. Hemp can be grow almost anywhere, on any soil. It is naturally resistant to insects and disease and helps to rebuild the soil. Approximately 50% of all agricultural chemicals (pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers) are used to produce cotton.

As a feed stock to make paper and building materials, hemp is superior because 1 acre of hemp produces the same amount of cellulose fiber as 4 acres of trees. This fiber can not only be made into paper but a variety of building materials such as sheathing to replace plywood and sheet rock, and beams. It can also be made into plastics such as PVC pipe. Henry Ford made a car out of hemp based plastics in the early 20th century that was said to be 10 times stronger that steel when struck with a hammer. It also ran on hemp based fuel. Isochanvre is a rediscovered building material where hemp hurds are mixed with lime and it petrified into a mineral state. A 6th to 8th century bridge has been discovered in the south of France built with this material.

As a fuel hemp can be made into charcoal that has no sulphur, biodiesel, methanol, or gasoline. Hemp is capable of producing 4 to 50 times as much cellulose fiber per acre as corn, kenaf or sugarcane for use as biomass feedstock. Hemp products can be made into virtually anything that can be made of petroleum, such as feedstocks for chemicals, plastics and lubricating oils. It’s slow drying oils were once prized for their use in paints. The results of hemp based fuel production would include the revitalization of agriculture and rural America, while making our country energy independent and reducing our carbon footprint on the earth.

Considering how useful and versatile hemp can be from its known uses and the potential in marijuana’s use as a medicine and a safer recreational drug than alcohol, it is a shame and a disgrace to our country that hemp and marijuana have been banned and its users punished and persecuted, by a prohibition perpetuated with lies and misinformation and built on racial hatred and intolerance. All in the interest of protecting a few rich people from competition with hemp and marijuana. Abraham Lincoln said “Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes… A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” Just imagine what we could accomplish if we stopped this madness.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes is a fascinating read and is well documented. I highly recommend this book as a reference for anyone interested in the marijuana and hemp prohibition issue. While I can no longer find any reference to the $100,000 challenge, no one has disproved what Jack wrote about in his book. “If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation; There is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meet all the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time. And that substance is Cannabis Hemp…Marijuana”

Thanks Jack Herer, your dedication to freedom in life will long be remembered in your death.

To purchase this book. http://a1hemp.com/ I also enjoyed the Eminem song/video.

To read this book. http://www.jackherer.com/

Randy Johnson

itsmycountrytoo.org

Will They Try To Confiscate Our Guns?

In light of the current gun legislation issues, I want to mention that almost all new guns available have been sold and any new arms or ammunition will likely be purchased soon on arrival. I have heard rumblings of resistance to gun confiscation and people are concerned about their freedom. Sheriffs and police across the country have vowed to fight gun confiscation. I also am concerned about my freedom and have been for a long time. How did states ever get the right to take away our Second Amendment right? Would we surrender our freedom of speech, or our right to a speedy trial of our peers for crossing a state line? Why should we have to give up the security of being armed to cross state lines. My right to keep and bear arms should be the same in any state or territory of these United States. I do not believe however that our government would ever attempt to disarm all Americans at one time. First they will begin with people who get caught with illegal drugs or alcohol violations. Then anyone who is involved in any domestic violence or fringe groups like Christians or Constitutionalists. Eventually they would like to completely disarm us, but any attempts of all out confiscation would likely promote an armed response. So goes the story of the frog in the pot. Heat it slowly and it won’t resist.

My sincere hope is that these people who are trying to take our freedom are voted out and replaced with people who honor the Constitution and believe in the rights of the people. However I am also very sceptical that will ever happen. In the last election, Congress had a less than 10% approval rating and yet over 90% were re-elected. I do fear armed responses to gun confiscations by SWAT teams may become a part of our future. The Government does have an alternate plan though. A friend who proudly served in the United States Army told me, in 1989, all soldiers had to swear an oath, that if ordered, they would fire on American Citizens. I wonder if that is still the case and if not when did it begin and end? I guess we can hope I am wrong. Voting them out wouldn’t be near as costly in American lives.

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

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