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United States of America

Could Hemp Save the World?

Farmers along Li River near Guilin, GuangxiMuch of our focus at is on the constantly evolving legalities that is the medical marijuana industry.  Old propaganda dies hard and lazy politicians have taken up the standard talking points of “we need more research” and “what kind of message does this send to children?”.  While talking about propaganda, medical research, patient stories …continue reading

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Power to the People

power to the people

The cynic will often lament the absence of American democracy.  Phrases such as “we have no power” or comparisons to a police state are very popular.  There is a cynical side to all of us, but equally, most of us hold onto a least a shred of optimism even if we bury it under negative talking points.  Such defense mechanisms make it easier to converse with strangers and get through the day.  There is no doubt that the decks are stacked against us, as most of us do not have paid lobbyists fighting for our jobs, but to those who think the average person can longer make a difference, November may provide a breath of fresh air.

Our elected officials have failed us on many issues and have become complacent and/or unwilling to take a controversial stand.  As a result, with no more free time at anyone’s disposal, we the people have risen. reported earlier in the week that Oregon was on its way to becoming the 3rd state (also Washington and Colorado) to put a marijuana legalization vote to its people.  Ignored political issues do not find their way to the ballots itself, rather, it requires the sweat and effort of activists willing to go door to door and collect signatures.  It takes optimism even as some may slam a door in their faces.  It takes compassion, never to forget teens in jail or sick patients running out of options and it takes resiliency to fight on even as our federal government uses every tool at its disposal to sidetrack these efforts.

Advocates were rewarded with even more positive news as this week it was announced that Massachusetts voters will have the option of voting to enact a medical marijuana program.  If passed the law would allow for up to 35 dispensaries statewide.  Over 11,000 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State William Galvin’s office.  The system looks as if it will be strictly regulated and Massachusetts residents would only qualify if they have debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, ALS or Parkinson’s disease and others.  The state will register dispensaries, employees, and patients and will set rules for the cultivation and storage process.  Additionally, if access to transportation, physical inability to travel, or financial hardship compromise a patient’s access then they will be able to register with the state’s department of health to grown their own plants.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.  It is the specific intent of reform opponents use to make us feel this way.  However, they are now the minority and even if they have the ears of our representation, we have proven that they all can have each other.  True power rests in the hands of the people and successful ballot initiatives bypass the dysfunction and corruption in Washington D.C.  Change is coming and with all its documented problems, the United States of America still offers such beautiful freedom.  Perhaps we have to work harder for it than we want but it is there, waiting for signatures and the support of our neighbors.  As the election season heats up, expect to hear more news about more legalization/medical votes. When the curtain is closed behind you, pay close attention because your state may have the option of voting for compassion.

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The Walls Are Caving In: America’s Neighbors are Amending their Marijuana Policy

walls caving in

On June 22nd we at reported that Uruguay would be drastically altering their policy on marijuana.  Frustrated with the United State’s unwillingness to help reduce Central and South American cartel violence, Uruguay decided to take matters into their own hands and legalize marijuana.  In a stunning move the government in Uruguay government will cultivate, distribute, and regulate legalized cannabis.

Only days after Uruguay made history, Colombia has also decided to shift away from a failed drug policy.  Colombia’s Constitutional Court approved the government’s legislation that aimed to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and cocaine.  Individuals caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana and 1 gram of cocaine can be sent to psychological rehabilitation but cannot be arrested or detained.

Even if the United States federal government does not realize it, the walls appear to be caving in on our failed drug policy.  Federal inaction has prompted many of our 50 states to enact decriminalization and medical marijuana laws.  In addition, our closest geographic neighbors are also riding the reform momentum.  Besides Uruguay and Colombia, Mexico just witnessed a presidential election that revolved heavily around the issue of cartel violence.  On Sunday it was announced that Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was the apparent winner.  The president elect has vowed to reduce the surging violence linked to cartel activities, though it may take some time to win over all the people as the Institutional Revolutionary Party was known to rule in brutal fashion.  Other leaders in Central and South America are also pro decriminalization, especially newly elected Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina.

The evidence of our failed war on drugs is overwhelming.  Other than an upcoming presidential election, many analysts are left wondering exactly why the United States has decided to relinquish its traditional leadership role in international politics, and has instead chosen to be reform’s largest obstacle to overcome.  As is often the case with American policy, it seems easy to ignore a problem that is not immediately a domestic threat.  However, the United States’ failure to forecast how deep the cartel violence problem would become has now compromised our own security.  The Mexican cartel has funneled money through race horses, set up a strong operational presence in Utah, and successfully dug over 75 tunnels (that we know of officially), complete with electrical lighting and ventilation.  These breaches in security represent far worse than drug smuggling, and government officials should hope that Al Queda or other terrorists do not seize on these tailor made opportunities.  Though its late in the game, the United States can recapture its leadership role and enact true marijuana reform which could eliminate the need for the Mexican Cartel’s supply and significantly reduce their funding and power.

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Newt Gingrich Clear on Opposition to Medical Marijuana


Cult excitement often accompanies those who rail against the status quo.  Maintaining one’s principles in the face of a disagreeing majority can be quite difficult.  In politics, it seems that candidates often champion this idea.  Then they can acquire nicknames like “maverick” and “cowboy” if voters are convinced they are not scared to take a hard stand.  However, ignoring the wishes of the majority may not be a prudent choice when seeking public office.

Newt Gingrich has seen a rise in the polls lately as he attempts the long journey toward the United States presidency.  Mr. Gingrich has used the reliable justification for his current stance on medical marijuana, the children.  He was recently quoted as saying “What has changed was the number of parents I met with who said they did not want their children to get the signal from the government that it was acceptable behavior.”  He also went on to call medical marijuana in California “a joke” and went even further to call medical marijuana a convenience.  Thousands of patients would likely respond by saying there is nothing “convenient” about debilitating conditions that are relieved by marijuana.  Gingrich also went on to say he was seeking stricter penalties for marijuana users and that he would like the government to take a more aggressive stance in marijuana enforcement.  This obviously is in contrast with the rest of Americans and recent polls show approximately 80% of the country supports medical marijuana.  Additionally, most of the GOP is seeking to reduce our nation’s debt and save money where possible.  Directing additional tax dollars toward the war on drugs may be hard to sell to the American people.

Mr. Gingrich also went on to applaud Singapore’s harsh legal system.  Such praise could result in a political backfire.  Much of the world has pleaded for Singapore to alter their harsh stance on law enforcement.  Under Singapore’s Misuse of Drugs Act, marijuana possession of 500 grams requires use of the death penalty.   In 1994 former President Bill Clinton tried to negotiate a lighter sentence for 18 year old American Michael Fay when he was convicted of vandalism while in Singapore.  Fay received six bamboo cane strikes and served four months in jail.  Gingrich has also recently said, in regards to Singapore that, “They’ve been very draconian. And they have communicated with great intention that they intend to stop drugs from coming into their country.”  He also stated that he would execute members of the Mexican drug cartel.  Members of the Mexican drug cartel certainly do not deserve any sympathy , but perhaps that violent line of thinking has not served our country well in the 40 year war on drugs.  Instead of more gunfire many Americans now want to phase the cartel out by regulation and decriminalization, in turn making their function obsolete.  Cartel members can still be tried in court and face whatever penalties are appropriate.  Newt Gingrich’s recent comments on medical marijuana come as a surprise to many political analysts.  During the 1980’s, he wrote a letter that supported the use of medical marijuana in the March 19, 1982 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.  The following paragraph is an exact quote from his letter and is in stark contrast with his recent statements:

“We believe licensed physicians are competent to employ marijuana, and patients have a right to obtain marijuana legally, under medical supervision, from a regulated source. The medical prohibition does not prevent seriously ill patients from employing marijuana; it simply deprives them of medical supervision and denies them access to a regulated medical substance. Physicians are often forced to choose between their ethical responsibilities to the patient and their legal liabilities to federal bureaucrats.”  There does not seem to be any praise for draconian laws here and he certainly no mention of him viewing medical marijuana as a joke.  Click here for the full letter

Newt Gingrich’s timing for his policy shifts is baffling.  When the momentum for medical marijuana was very low he was supportive and now that the country overwhelmingly supports it he has changed his stance.  The only comparable situation is the behavior of a child who is just trying to be difficult.  Is Newt Gingrich just trying to gauge the American public and take the opposite stand?  As a veteran of the American political landscape there must be some other reason.  His behavior seems politically motivated and perhaps even strategic against Mitt Romney.  Many believe that Mitt Romney will ultimately win the Republican nomination for 2012.  However, former Governor Romney’s perceived weakness pertains to his popularity with ultra conservatives.  Whatever the rationale is for his position change on medical marijuana, it is clear that part of his strategy is definitely aimed at painting Mitt Romney as too moderate.  At a recent town hall meeting Mr. Gingrich went out of his way to mention that he was more conservative than Mitt Romney.   The primaries usually see candidates reach to the far left or right wing in order to shore up support, then gradually inch their way back toward the middle of the political spectrum.  Newt Gingrich may have to stand behind these harsh and possibly very unpopular views of medical marijuana.  If that is the case many libertarians, economists, and independent voters may be turned off to his candidacy.  Backing off these statements may not sit well with his conservative base, a group he may ultimately need on his journey toward the presidency.

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Great Video Introduction To Marijuana Legalisation From MSNBC

Video Pic

Marijuana is  not the taboo it was previously within the U . s . States.  Recent polling shows an archive number of individuals (50%) think it ought to totally be legalized while polls indicate that more than 75% of the nation is in support of medicinal marijuana.  Time for serious discussion must have happened already and it is now clearly past due.  Below is a superb and quick video breakdown around the current status of marijuana within the U . s . States.


Get More Information At A Great VIDEO FROM MSNBC

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