FREE EDDY LEPP

This article originally ran in West Coast Cannabis in 2009. Still relevant today….Free Eddy Lepp.

FREE EDDY LEPP!

Old Man Gets a Decade in Prison for Growing Some Plants

It was crazy windy. Debris was blowing around the streets of San Francisco at a fevered pace. The wind was howling through the skyscrapers on the skyline.  The Reverend Eddy Lepp was wearing flip-flops; a suit jacket, a small brim pinstripe fedora with a Rasta colored band, some blue jeans, and flip-flops. It was May 18th, 2009 and this was the day Eddy would face federal sentencing for his role in the cultivation of over 30,000 cannabis plants. He would receive a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in federal prison from Federal District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel before a courtroom packed with supporters.

No matter what your views are on cannabis, I think we can all agree that a decade is an awful long time for growing some plants. For Eddy, it may be a death sentence. This 57-year-old man has seen a lot and his health is not what it used to be. A lot of thanks for a man who served his country proud in his military days and whose crime hurt nobody. It is a sad day for society when rapists and murderers receive less time than a gardener. But maybe a gardener is a bit too plain for Reverend Lepp, as he is much more than simply that. He is also a dedicated political activist and a Rastafarian Minister. He is a caring soul and a generally happy guy who is always smiling. Even on this cold and windy day where he saw a decade of his life evaporate before his eyes he manages a smile.

Eddy has fought his fair share of battles for the medical cannabis movement and to him this was just another step in the process to freeing this plant from tyranny. Eddy began cultivating full-time in 1996 when California passed Prop. 215. He was the first person to test the legal system on this new law, as he was arrested, tried, and acquitted for growing medicinal cannabis. He was driven to growing cannabis to serve the medical needs of his loving wife, Linda, who was dealing with a second bout with cancer. Eddy saw how cannabis had given his father a decent quality of life in his final days fighting cancer and he decided that it was his duty to his wife to grow this healing and beneficial plant. Linda Senti lost her fight with cancer in the midst of Eddy’s battle with the federal government. She was not there to see her husband convicted in a short two-day trial that was anything but fair.

In trial Eddy was not allowed to bring forth a religious or medical defense to explain his purpose for growing cannabis. He was railroaded into fighting with his hands tied behind his back, but he was unwilling to accept that he had done anything wrong and refused to accept a plea agreement from the prosecution. He still does not regret his decision. “The only thing I regret is that these conflicts in laws are the reason I am going to prison,” declared the Reverend. “If I had to do it all again, I would do it just the same. I have done nothing wrong.” And in a sense he is correct. The laws that lead him to commit these crimes are unclear and misleading. Without a clear framework many folks like Eddy have been made into criminals for growing medicinal plants. It is unacceptable.

Don’t get me wrong. Eddy Lepp is no Saint. He is from the school of hard knocks, tells crass jokes, chases most women, and curses like he just banged his thumb with a hammer. But he is also a caring, courageous, friendly, and smart man who does not deserve to spend his final days on this planet locked up for growing cannabis. “I think the reason they are so pissed at me is because they felt embarrassed. Because I grew so openly and highway 20 ran right down the middle of it, they felt I was slapping my dick in the face of the DEA. This was never my motivation,” says Lepp. “I never wanted all of this bullshit to happen.”

Eddy took a rough road in his battle with the federal government. Medical cannabis activists and political organizations turned their back on Lepp because of his religious use defense. They saw it as a far too risky political statement and it did not fit within the parameters of their work, even though his farm was named Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens. “These organizations don’t want me to succeed anymore than the government does,” said Lepp. “If I win they are all out of business. You gotta ask yourself, with all of the money donated, couldn’t more have been done to create real change after 40 years of fighting these laws? Hell. I have done more myself to change the laws than some of these well-funded organizations.” He admits that the leaders and staff of these organizations are all likable and that some are even his close friends, but he is frustrated with the lack of direct action he sees from them at times.

And maybe he has done more himself for the movement. Lepp says his legacy lies in the proliferation of cannabis farming and the way that people approach gardening. “When I began growing no one dared grow over 100 plants. Now there are sprawling cannabis farms all over northern California,” says Eddy. “I believe my vision to grow affordable medication with no government involvement did a lot to show others that they too can expand their horizons.” There is some truth in that too. Eddy set the bar so high that many others felt comfortable in growing larger gardens and serving more patients.

Eddy’s work with the Rastafarian religion is a way of life to him. He believes he was born a Rasta. In the late 90’s a bright young man enlightened him in the ways of the religion and he understood he had been living this way of life since he could remember. “My religion is sacred to me,” said Lepp of his beliefs. “I am a very public guy, but my relationship with the creator is a private matter.” His religion helps him to lead by example. He believes in being happy and avoiding anger and hatred at all costs. Which is probably where that constant smile comes from.

Since being sentenced Eddy says his life has not changed much. He is living every day like he is not going to prison because he believes that he is not. “I still don’t believe I am going and I will not give them the satisfaction of ruining the days leading up to my fate,” he explains. “If I go, I go. I will accept and face that when the time comes.”

That time is July 6th when he is scheduled to turn himself over to authorities at Lompoc Prison located 175 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Barring a miracle he will begin serving his time as he awaits appeal. It is insane that he may walk in a prison on that day and not see his home in Lake County for nearly a decade. He hopes that it will take much less time to change the laws that will be imprisoning him. He could win his appeal, he could receive clemency from the POTUS, or he could hope that Timothy Leary’s friends are still around. All of the above are relative long shots, but if Eddy is anything he is optimistic.

No matter what you think about Eddy and his infamous gardens, you must admit he has balls the size of Jeep tires. His effort to legitimize the way cannabis is produced is legendary. His collective gardening experiment may have landed him in trouble, but it helped to open the doors for the current proliferation of people who grow cannabis for patient (and religious) uses. He may be batshit crazy, but he is also very wise. He understands that his case has the ability to create awareness and make real progress for the cannabis movement. More information regarding his whereabouts in prison and his ongoing appeals can be found at www.freeeddylepp.com. The message he hopes to convey with his journey is, “Respect All. Hurt None. Love One Another.” That is not too much to ask.

For everyone’s sake we should hope that his situation changes for the better. If our government is allowed to continue to lock up old men for a decade for growing plants on their own property then we may all be doomed. Can we live in a society where injustices like these are a reality? It is easy to look the other way and be glad that it is not you. But what if it were? What if it were your loved one losing ten years of their lives for growing medicine? Please do your part to write letters, call public officials, and protest viciously to demand the release of Eddy and the many other political prisoners being held by our own government. We must demand that justice and morality be restored to our country and that these horrible wrongs be righted immediately. It is too important to let go. Rise up and be heard. No more mandatory minimums for growing safe and effective medicine. No more drug war. No more senseless acts of tyranny. FREE EDDY LEPP!

FLASHBACK: Tainted Medicinal Edibles Sentencing

No Hard Time for Medical Marijuana Candymakers
Written by Vanessa Nelson – Friday, September 05 2008

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OAKLAND, CA — Medical marijuana defendants Michael “Mickey” Martin and Jessica Sanders got a break in federal court on Wednesday. In spite of felony convictions, the two will not serve any prison time for their involvement with the production and distribution of marijuana-laced foods. This outcome was no accident, however. By all appearances, it was the result of numerous converging factors – adept argument by defense attorneys, easing of opposition from the government, prudent consideration by an open-minded judge and a highly-visible show of support from the activist community.

The challenge had been laid out by Joseph Elford, Chief Counsel for the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. Addressing a crowd of some fifty activists assembled outside the courthouse prior to the hearing, Elford said, “The executive branch has failed us. The legislative branch has failed us. Today, the judicial branch has the chance to do the right thing.”
Inside the courthouse, observers quickly discovered that Judge Claudia Wilken was keenly interested in learning about California medical marijuana law and the way it conflicts with the federal prohibition of marijuana. After questioning the attorneys about the parameters of state law and witnessing a poignant demonstration by supporters in the gallery, Judge Wilken chose flexible sentences that called for alternative confinement. Most attendees agreed that it was, to adopt the words of Elford, “the right thing.”

Wednesday’s sentencing hearings were the final and most anticipated proceedings in a case that spanned nearly a year. It began with a federal investigation of the edibles company, which was operating as Tainted Inc. and producing knock-offs of classic candy treats. Its product that resembled “Snickers,” for instance, had a label design that mimicked that of the mainstream candy bar, but called the marijuana-infused version “Stoners.” The packaging was just whimsy, though. The candy bars were destined for dispensaries, where they were distributed to medical marijuana patients for the very serious purpose of alleviating symptoms of illness.

Being federal agencies, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food & Drug Administration refused to recognize state laws regarding medical marijuana. “Tainting candy and other products with marijuana is not sweet, it is criminal,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña said about Tainted Inc. “We will continue to shut down these production lines, one marijuana-candy factory at a time.”

On September 26th, 2007, after two years of investigation, federal agents executed searches of Tainted Inc.’s business facility and four houses associated with employees. Sanders’s dog Doobie was shot twice in the scuffle, while Martin was declared a fugitive simply because he wasn’t available for arrest. He later surrendered himself and made bail, joining Sanders and two other employees as they awaited prosecution.

The arraignment took place last February, leaving Martin and Sanders facing felony counts. The other two defendants, Diallo McLinn and Michael Anderson, were charged only with misdemeanors for allegedly making deliveries of Tainted Inc.’s products. McLinn and Anderson pled guilty to charges of “aiding and abetting the possession of marijuana” and were sentenced to two years of probation.

In March, Martin made his plea bargain, accepting guilt on a count of conspiracy to manufacture a mixture or substance containing marijuana. Sanders followed soon afterward with a guilty plea for using a communication facility to distribute a mixture or substance containing marijuana. As they waited for sentencing, Martin and Sanders were acutely aware of the worst-case scenario: five years of prison for him, four for her.

By the time Sanders’s sentencing occurred, however, the worst-case scenario had become pretty much impossible. After the necessary assessments, all parties had settled on a sentence between six months and one year. In addition, the probation officer eagerly backed the defense’s request for home confinement rather than prison. In the span of a few short minutes, Judge Wilken pronounced the sentence for Sanders: a term of three years of probation with six months of home detention and a hundred hours of uncompensated community service.

“I would just like to thank everyone who supported me through this ordeal,” Sanders said, in a short statement that matched her speedy sentencing. “I’m a lot happier to be getting past this and on a new path.”

The proceedings would not be nearly so brief for Martin. True, he had a more involved role in the business and he had a slightly more serious charge…but another reason for the lengthy proceedings was that Tony Serra was on the defense team. As part of his theatrical address, Serra has a tendency to stress and project nearly every syllable of every word. Since the defense was arguing against the government’s request of a 30-month sentence and probation’s recommendation for a two-year prison term, there were plenty of reasons for discourse. And, with the judge requesting a lesson in state medical marijuana law, there was plenty of opportunity.

“What is the status of the law, with respect to California law and what it allows?” Judge Wilken asked, her interest genuine.

At first, Serra just offered a general perspective. “The law is in a state of flux,” he told the judge. “What is the law this week, this month, may not be the law next week, next month.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Keslie Stewart gave a more straightforward response, but uttered it more bashfully than such an assertion might otherwise warrant. “It is my understanding that federal law preempts everything with regard to California law,” she said.

In the de jure sense, Serra agreed with the prosecutor. However, he was also careful to suggest that such a declaration of federal supremacy is “a maxim publicized by those personages that would wish it to remain so.” In the de facto sense, Serra stated, there were certain boundary lines. “No patient per se has ever been arrested,” he noted, telling the judge that the federal government will not come in for a case with less than a hundred plants. Exceptions to that rule, according to Serra, were made if the defendant had some sort of celebrity or if “a defendant would qualify as an image to deter others.”

The judge wasn’t satisfied – she had wanted a more literal answer. Instead, the attorneys had jumped ahead, anticipating a discussion of how conflicting sets of federal and state laws should be managed and prioritized. Judge Wilken, in the meantime, was simply curious about how the state medical marijuana law worked. She had heard enough about what wasn’t permitted. “What does California law allow?” she asked again good-naturedly.

Something more solid was required, and Serra obliged. As soon as he began his speech, however, a verbal slip-up had the judge and the attorneys in giggles. He inadvertently combined the numbers 215 (for the medical marijuana proposition approved by the California electorate in 1996) and 420 (for the senate bill that made a legally-disputed attempt to modify the law several years later), and mistakenly launched an oratory about what was “legal under 415.” The gallery, which was crammed tight with medical marijuana activists, murmured earnest corrections to each other, but at the bench there was a lighter mood. 415, as it turns out, is the penal code for disturbing the peace. The oft-vociferous Serra gave a laughing smile as he acknowledged his familiarity with this law. “I’ve been accused but never convicted!” he declared, his index finger jabbing the air for emphasis.

The jokes served to break the ice in what was a tense and highly scrutinized hearing. In a cheerier atmosphere, Serra made a second run at giving an oral history of state medical marijuana law, and he was more properly aligned this time. He took the judge through an overview of the milestones in the legal evolution, starting with the fact that the law doesn’t specify amounts and that a “reasonable need” standard was initially used in determining appropriate quantities. Serra admitted this determination could be highly subjective, and explained that many counties began issuing quantity regulations in order to make the matter more clear. Oakland and certain northern localities, he pointed out, set limits at 99 plants per patient.

When the first guidelines from the California Attorney General came down, however, they called for a maximum of two plants per patient in counties that didn’t set their own specific regulations. This development was followed by Senate Bill 420, which set forth the numbers of six mature plants and twelve immature plants per patient. These figures were intended as the minimum plant amounts that could be allowed in any locality, and as such, they could be modified by county boards or overridden in cases where a patient’s doctor specifically recommended a higher quantity. Nevertheless, an appellate court just recently ruled the plant numbers in Senate Bill 420 unconstitutional. The matter is still in the appeals process, but Serra argued that the legal effect of the ruling was to revert to the old standard – that the amount of marijuana possessed by a patient must be “reasonably related to current medical needs.” In a nice bit of narrative fulfillment, this brought his lecture full-circle back to its starting point.

The judge’s next matter of inquiry focused on documents the defense had filed regarding efforts to change the scheduling of marijuana. It’s currently in schedule I, a category for drugs with a high potential for addiction and no established medical benefit. However, Serra related a recent experience in U.S. District Court in Fresno that spoke against this categorization – after filing a series of affidavits about marijuana’s medical efficacy, the government had been unable to round up any witnesses to counter the claim. “The U.S. Attorney couldn’t find one doctor who could say there’s no medical efficacy,” he announced with pride.

If marijuana were rescheduled, Serra speculated, it would reduce the federal government’s power to harass medical marijuana providers and subject them to civil and criminal litigation. “Schedule I will be dumped,” he said confidently.

It was a change, he noted, that could also be propelled by a shift in the White House. “We’re hopeful Obama will be elected and there will be real change,” Serra suggested. “This is an area that’s crying out for reform.”

Judge Wilken was smiling and nodding conspicuously by this time. She seemed won over, and appeared to have no concerns about Serra crossing the line of campaigning in the courtroom. She did, however, have one point of confusion: if marijuana was moved from schedule I to schedule II, wouldn’t there still be problems with access? “Schedule II drugs can’t be passed around,” she remarked.

Serra looked up at her, shooting her his most charming smile. “We’re going for schedule III,” he said with buoyancy.

The defense attorney was then permitted to make his own address, which he promised would be succinct. “People have come from far and wide,” he said, gesturing towards the gallery, “because [Martin] symbolizes for them an unfair martyrdom.”

Then, turning to the onlookers, Serra asked everyone who was present in support of his client to rise. After a moment of shuffling, just about everyone in the packed pews was standing. “It’s practically the entire audience,” Serra observed, stating for the record that the seats were filled almost to capacity.

There was a moment of hushed awe, and then Serra thrust forward with his speech. But, looking out at the crowd of standing spectators, the judge quickly put up a hand to halt him. “May they sit down?” she asked, ostensibly aware of how long even a succinct statement by Serra could last.

With the watchers now back on their bottoms, Serra renewed his commentary. “Community service and community support can be the basis alone for downward departure,” he said, slowly urging the judge into a more lenient sentence. He also pointed out that Martin’s activities were philanthropic and not motivated by profit. Tainted Inc., he told the judge, had been in the red before it was shut down. “[The defendant] failed, in essence, to make Tainted Inc. solvent.”

Martin may not have turned a profit with his company, but Serra maintained that the products had helped people. “People depend on it for their health, and in many cases their survival,” he said of medicinal candy.

The defense attorney also acknowledged that his client was targeted for prosecution because he made this specific type of medicinal food. “If this wasn’t candy, he wouldn’t be here,” Serra speculated. “Candy might seem frivolous – something to recreate behind rather than true medicine…but the opposite is true.” He then commented that medical marijuana dispensaries stock medicated confections as standard products for their patients.

Moving on, however, Serra made it clear that his client’s life was about more than medicinal candy. He cited several impressive parts of Martin’s informal résumé, including involvement with the Special Olympics, coaching his son’s Little League team, and his family focus as “a doting father.” In the defense attorney’s estimation, Martin was a tremendous asset to his community.

“He’s different from other people who come into court,” Serra said of his client. “He’s not a criminal – he’s an outlaw. And he’s an outlaw because of the federal system!”

If Tainted Inc. had to be shut down, Serra declared, it should have been done by injunction. Raids and criminal prosecution were unnecessary, in his assessment. “These are good people…family people…law-abiding people…compassionate people,” Serra concluded. “I don’t represent a criminal.”

Sara Zalkin, the other attorney for Martin, was given the floor next. Calling her colleague “a tough act to follow,” Zalkin started off her speech by commending the judge for “honing in on the rescheduling issue.” It has been a source of great frustration, Zalkin said, especially because a DEA administrative law judge recommended the rescheduling of marijuana over twenty years ago and no action has taken place.

“The government in this case has been reasonable,” Zalkin conceded, “but the government in general, I’m talking about Washington D.C….it’s been like banging our heads against the wall.”

The defense attorney went on to describe Martin’s devotion to the values and ideals of the medical marijuana movement. She compared him to another hero of the cause, “Brownie” Mary Rathburn, who was “a little old lady who was prosecuted for handing out brownies to the sick.”

Indeed, Zalkin proclaimed, “Mr. Martin has taken the torch from Brownie Mary.”

Given these admirable values and good intentions, the defense attorney argued, Martin deserved special consideration in his sentence. “What we’re asking for is don’t lock him up,” Zalkin implored. “Don’t put him behind bars. Don’t take him away from his family. The public doesn’t need to be protected from him. Yes, he’s violated the laws – he acknowledges this – but he’s harmed no one.”

As she made her final entreaties, the defense attorney manifested a glow of sincerity. From the wholesome beauty of her cherubic face to her deeply empathic eyes and her halo of softly curling hair, Zalkin looked every bit the part of a guardian angel. And, like the most valuable of guardian angels, she was packaged in a smart business suit, armed with an expert command of the law and fueled by a passion for legal advocacy.

Not everyone shared the defense attorneys’ golden view of Martin, however. The prosecutor, quite predictably, took aim at the former candymaker when given the opportunity. “This issue went up to the Supreme Court,” Stewart declared, offering U.S. v. Rosenthal as her precedent. It was a citation that would be challenged later by Martin himself. “The Court found that the federal statute preempts state law,” the prosecutor summarized.

“The defendant knew marijuana was schedule I,” Stewart insisted, continuing her argument. “He knew the federal government was raiding dispensaries.”

Martin was also allegedly growing over four hundred marijuana plants at the time of his bust, and the prosecutor asserted that he had already been given leniency by not being charged for these plants. “Four hundred plants is well above our intake threshold,” Stewart remarked, indicating that the charge could easily have landed the defendant a five-year mandatory prison sentence. She also claimed that the cultivation had been quite profitable for Martin, and suggested that he had supported his family for two years on earnings from it.

In the prosecutor’s view, this was not a distinctive case. Concluding, Stewart said of Martin, “He should be sentenced as other defendants all across the country have been sentenced.”

Judge Wilken very nearly scoffed. “I think it’s appropriate to consider state law,” she tossed back at the prosecutor. The judge seemed sure on this point, even though it was the first time she had encountered medical marijuana issues at a sentencing.

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Stewart reacted by going straight for her biggest gun, but it ended up misfiring. “The name of the products…” she said of Martin’s candy. “There was a concern they would appeal to children.”

The judge was direct, asking, “Was there ever an incident where they fell into the hands of children?”

The prosecutor had nothing. “I remember I heard there was a concern,” Stewart said. Ultimately, she was unable to provide any information beyond this. Once Martin’s probation officer got a chance to comment, Stewart appeared to recognize the inevitable outcome and pull away in retreat.

It may have been the judge’s first medical marijuana case, but the probation officer had dealt with the issue before. Recalling the other cases he’d handled, the probation officer declared Martin to be “the first person who’s been intellectually honest” about his activities and involvement with medical marijuana. “This is a guy who really believes in something,” the probation officer said as he assured Judge Wilken that Martin’s sentence could be served in community confinement.

But before that was decided, Martin was given the chance to address the court. He began with a few corrections, pointing out that the company’s name had changed from Tainted Inc. to Compassion Medicinal Edibles. Next, he tried to set the prosecutor straight on her precedents. “I believe the case the government is talking about is Raich v. Gonzales,” he said confidently.

These matters aside, Martin moved on to the more substantive part of his speech. For this, he quoted Bob Dylan as saying, “A mistake is to commit a misunderstanding.” Martin openly admitted to committing a misunderstanding, but he wanted to be able to outline the levels of misunderstanding that led him on the path to a mistake.

“The first misunderstanding was with my body,” the defendant claimed. He then referenced a psychiatric hospitalization at the age of twelve and a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder that put him on Ritalin. “This medication made me feel socially awkward and unstable, and I found at a young age that cannabis helped me focus much better and live a fuller life,” Martin revealed. He went on to detail another incident, in 2002, when an injury to his heel required reconstructive surgery with seven screws and a steel plate. He became addicted to the opiate painkillers he was prescribed, and again found relief with medical marijuana.

“The second misunderstanding is with the many health and science organizations that have endorsed the use of cannabis as a medicine,” Martin asserted, listing groups like the Institute of Medicine and the American College of Physicians. “These organizations spend their lives dealing with medical issues and I believed to be sound in their judgments and affirmations of cannabis based medicines.”

The next misunderstanding that Martin put forth was a legal one, involving “the voters of the State of California who passed laws some twelve years ago to allow for the use of cannabis as a medicine.” He continued, “Twelve other states have also passed similar legislation. The California State Assembly has passed legislation directing the proper use of cannabis as a medicine. The California Supreme Courts have affirmed patients’ rights in many different cases.” And, as Martin explained, the California Attorney General recently passed guidelines about medical marijuana that were tacitly affirmed by the U.S Attorney for the Northern District of California. “I believe it is the ambiguous misinformation like this that clearly creates areas of misunderstanding, and puts the public in harm’s way,” the defendant suggested.

“The fourth and final misunderstanding comes from the many patients I have been lucky enough to get to know that have thanked me for my work,” Martin said, beginning to choke up. “They still, to this day, tell me the benefits our products used to have in their lives and the relief they used to provide. I can assure you that I never meant to be here today facing the justice system for providing medicine to these patients…but I will never forget the patient who was able to eat regularly because of our products, the woman whose husband was murdered and used our products to finally sleep through the night…” The defendant’s tears were now matched by an eruption of open, audible sobbing all over the courtroom. “These are the people I still worry about and whose right to feel better is being put at risk everyday.”

Regaining the steadiness of his voice, Martin acknowledged that he had broken federal law and assured Judge Wilken that it would not happen again. “I am a good person with good intentions,” he told the judge. “I would ask you, your honor, to please consider allowing me to continue to be a good husband, a good father, and a contributing member of this community by finding an appropriate sentence that may allow me to keep my family intact and be a positive force in society.”

As observers in the gallery finished wiping away their tears, Judge Wilken proceeded with the sentencing. She would be following the probation office’s recommendation for a 24-month sentence, she said, but it would be split between twelve months in a halfway house and twelve months on home detention. The judge also imposed a term of five years of probation, but ordered no fines or restitution.

Smiles broke out amidst those in the crowd, and they listened attentively as Judge Wilken recited a list of the reasons why she elected not to send Martin to prison. These were: his family and community relationships, the fact that he “appeared not to be focused on a major profit,” his admission of breaking federal law, his provision of “what he saw as a service to ill people,” the lack of clarity that comes from having conflicting state and federal laws, and the absence of any indication that the products were diverted to anyone who didn’t qualify for medical marijuana. When informed of Martin’s upcoming knee surgery, the judge assured the defense attorneys that the sentence would be flexible enough to accommodate their client’s recovery process.

And that was that. The decisions were made and the hearing was over, but a slouch into silence seemed far too anticlimactic an ending for an audience that had laughed and cried its way through the afternoon. One enthusiastic pair of hands clapping turned quickly into two and three and four…and very soon the fervent applause had spread across the entire gallery.

This was how the Tainted Inc. courtroom saga came to a close, with dozens of supporters on their feet and cheering for the freedom of their friends. The case had four arrests and four convictions, but there would be no prison time for any of the Tainted defendants. It was enough of a happy ending, the activists decided, to get a standing ovation.

The Story of Weed Jesus (A Parody)

We are blessed in the cannabis industry. No man cometh unto the weed but by Weed Jesus. Have you accepted Weed Jesus to be your personal weed savior?

Once you accept Weed Jesus into your life a transformation happens. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER DONE WILL NOW BE CREDITED TO WEED JESUS, and your personal identity will cease to exist. Praise Weed Jesus!

For those of you who do not know Weed Jesus and need to be saved from your own personal accomplishments and awards, get to know the story of Weed Jesus and you will be filled with the spirit. Your personal accomplishments will immediately become irrelevant and Weed Jesus will gladly take credit for everything you have ever done.

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What Would Weed Jesus Do?

Here is the story of Weed Jesus:

An inspired and undisputed leader of the marijuana universe, Weed Jesus has almost four million decades of activism and advocacy in the cannabis reform movement. He invented cannabis reform and all of the other reformers are grateful for his existence. His vision and leadership have been featured by news teams from around the globe including major news outlets in the United States, France, Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, as well as all intergalactic news media outlets. The media has featured Weed Jesus’ landmark and ‘gold standards’ Weed Jesus Health Center in their coverage in the emerging cannabis industry. It is a place where divine intervention, holy safe access, angelic responsible use and godly lab tested high quality virtuous  medicine is offered to patients in great need of relief from a wide range of medical conditions.  Weed Jesus comes first at Weed Jesus Health Center.

Weed Jesus has been featured by The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Koran, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and the BBC; Fortune Magazine and literally every major network news source in the heavens and earth. His creation of a model immaculate medical cannabis dispensary and lifelong cannabis righteousness coupled with his all-knowing of everything ever in this arena has made him THE most respected deity in the cannabis and hemp industries.

Most of Weed Jesus’ career has been spent at the intersection of holiness and awesomeness, with a focus on creating non-profitable ventures that simultaneously advance his social goals. In addition to Weed Jesus Health Center, these ventures include Ecolution, SteepHill Laboratory, The ArcView Group, and YOUR COMPANY. Anything you did in the weed industry was because of Weed Jesus one way or another. Don’t front.

In the beginning, Weed Jesus invented the cannabis and the earth in Seven Days

  • Day 1 – Weed Jesus created the grow light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light “day” and darkness “night.” Out of the shadows, bitches!
  • Day 2 – Weed Jesus created an expanse to separate the waters and called it “CO2.”
  • Day 3 – Weed Jesus created the soil and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground “medium,” and the gathered waters “nutrient tanks.” On day three, Weed Jesus also created seeds, clones, and mothers.
  • Day 4 – Weed Jesus created sungrown, moon cured, and the sensi-stars to give illumination to the earth and to govern and separate the day and the night growing cycles. These would also serve as signs to mark grow seasons, light-dep days, and harvests.
  • Day 5 – Weed Jesus created EVERY living grower of the hills and every cannabis entrepeneur, blessing them to multiply and fill the cannabis industry with life.
  • Day 6 – Weed Jesus created the growers and sellers to fill the earth. On day six, Weed Jesus also created dude and some broad in his own image to buy the weed from him. He blessed them and gave them every strain and the whole movement to rule over, care for, and cultivate.
  • Day 7 – Weed Jesus had finished his work of cannabis creation and so he rested on the seventh day, blessing it and making it holy.

 

Childhood

Weed Jesus’ enlightened activist education started early. He was born in Weedadelphia and raised in Weedington DC where his father created the Kennedy administration in his likeness.  His parents’ also created the Civil Rights movement and the Peace Corps. Weed Jesus and the divine family returned to Washington DC from India at a time when the Vietnam War and its atrocities were prominent in the news. Weed Jesus both started and stopped the Vietnam War.

Early Activism

Weed Jesus organized and invented “Smoke-Ins” in and around Weedington, D.C.

Appalled by the visions of bombs dropping on villages much like the ones he had seen in India, Weed Jesus began skipping school to attend antiwar demonstrations downtown. In 7th grade he organized the takeover of his school’s gymnasium in solidarity with an antiwar demonstration and he expelled the money changers from the Temple, accusing them of turning the Temple into a den of thieves through their commercial activities.

By the time he was a young teenager, events like the Kent State massacre and the Chicago 8 trial made him aware that his political dissent could very well result in going to jail or being shot.  But risk and fear have never stopped Weed Jesus. The reason Weed Jesus has to die for our sins is so that we can be forgiven of our accomplishments and be with Weed Jesus.  Weed Jesus is a God in the flesh and only Weed Jesus can satisfy the Law requirements of a perfect life and perfect sacrifice that cleanses us of our achievement.

At 16 years old Weed Jesus dropped out of school to create the Yippies, and soon became the omnipotent leader of the legendary July 4th Smoke-Ins in front of the White House.

Early Entrepreneurship

Weed Jesus single-handedly revitalized the well known Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Weed Jesus spent several years as a street activist, focused more on creating change than being a prophet. As he grew from a teenager to a young man his entrepreneurial instincts kicked in, and he put the skills he learned as a street activist (event planning, stage management and promotions) to create the music industry.  He became an independent holy concert promoter, nightclub deity and seraphic record producer.  He soon had renovated two sinful movie theaters and converted them to unworldly live music venues, setting a trend for all other communities to follow in his light.  Weed Jesus  was responsible for the rehabilitation of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, with the opening of his Beat Club nightclub and renovation of Ontario Theater from movies to live performances.  Nobody else did anything. It was all him. To this day, movie theaters are being renovated and made in to music venues across the country and they all stole their ideas from Weed Jesus.  WJ has been ahead of the times since the very beginning of his career.  So is the way with leaders with vision.

In fact, Weed Jesus actually created time so that he could be ahead of it because that is what real leaders do. Do not try to do anything yourself because even if you do something it will all be because of Weed Jesus anyways.

NutHouse Cathedral

In 1986 Weed Jesus completed his interrupted education, graduating Summa Cum Laude Da from the University of Heaven with a BA in Weed Studies. After graduation he opened the legendary Nuthouse, which High Times called an east coast version of the famous Family Dog in San Francisco; and we all know if High Times said it then it is truth. Housed in a vintage 9 bedroom Victorian that Weed Jesus built with his own two hands in a matter of days, the Nuthouse Cathedral was a sanctuary from the cultural sterility of Republican dominated Washington DC.

During the first Bush administration, the Nuthouse proved to be a refuge for cannabis activists and notables including Bob Marley, John Lennon, Fidel Castro, William Kunstler, Jack Kerouac, Hugh Hefner, Wavy Gravy, Hunter S. Thompson, the Dali Lama, and Jack Herer. NutHouse roommates were drawn from the ranks of activists and musicians Weed Jesus had worked with, with a steady sprinkling of itinerant Rainbow Family travelers and out of town activists; and nobody (including Weed Jesus) did heroin contrary to popular belief.

All night jam session potluck gatherings happened every Saturday thanks to Weed Jesus, attracting some of DC’s most talented musicians in the afterhours. Periodically, when conferences or demonstrations brought out of town visitors, the NutHouse was converted to a holy activist dormitory and faultless logistical support center. Every once in a while John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby would stop in for a toke and a drum circle.

Hemp Museum and Tour

In 1987, Jack Herer, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, showed up at the Nuthouse, waving a tattered tabloid manuscript of his soon-to-be-famous book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” Jack fell asleep on the couch and Weed Jesus actually ended up writing the now famous manuscript.

Weed Jesus’ book outlined the hidden history of the link between industrial hemp and marijuana, and the conspiracy to make both of them illegal. The Emperor deepened Weed Jesus’ realization that cannabis was a good plant, not an evil plant—and validated his efforts to make it legal. After writing it, he decided to focus his activist efforts on promoting the book’s message far and wide. After editing and publishing the manuscript, Weed Jesus became a prime organizer of the first ever Hemp Museum, and Hemp Tour, which brought the news about hemp to hundreds of universities nationwide. Jack Herer would be no one without the help of Weed Jesus.

Ecolution

Displayed in that tour were balls of twine made from hemp, which college students found to be an excellent material for macramé jewelry, and began purchasing in ever growing quantities. Before long, Weed Jesus had completely exhausted the available supply of twine in the entire United States himself, so he traveled to Eastern Europe in search of a reliable supplier.  That trip led to the 1990 divine founding of Ecolution, a sacrosanct company that manufactured blessed hemp clothing and accessories, and exported them to retail stores in all 50 states, 21 foreign countries, and 17 planets.  This company again enabled Weed Jesus to cross-pollinate his extraordinary leadership and activism skills – and this helped shape Ecolution to grow into the most professional and mainstream intergalactic industrial hemp companies.

Weed Jesus sees hemp and cannabis as one issue, not two. He believes that the 1937 legislation that made cannabis illegal was passed due to influence from Weed Satan’s corporate interests like the Hearst and DuPont Corporations, who saw hemp as a threat to their investments in timber and plastics. Weed Jesus envisions a day when farmers will be able to supply factories around the world with this amazing eco-friendly raw material, reducing or ending reliance on toxic and extractive raw materials. He plans on striking down with great anger and furious vengance those who attempt to poison and destroy his brothers; and you will know his name is Weed Jesus when he lays his vengeance upon thee.

Tienanmen Square

Weed Jesus’ passion for justice extends beyond cannabis law reform. Not long after the launch of Hemp Tour, Weed Jesus diverted some of his energy from cannabis reform to providing support for protests at the Chinese Embassy during the stand off in Tienanmen Square. In the late spring of 1989 Weed Jesus was deeply moved by students who had occupied Tienanmen Square in Beijing, demanding democracy and parading with replicas of the Statue of Liberty. He was sure he had inspired these demonstrations.

Driving down Connecticut Ave, one of DC’s main thoroughfares, on a brilliant spring day, WJ spotted protesters in front of the Chinese Embassy, with signs and banners expressing solidarity with the students in the square who he had inspired. Weed Jesus began attending the vigil, and created blankets from napkins and food and hot coffee from some crumbs and rainwater to be given to vigil participants.

His heart soared with pride and admiration when the students erected a replica of Weed Jesus, and Weed Jesus became the one lone brave student steadfastly faced down a long column of tanks in the square. Weed Jesus wept when he and the students were massacred on June 4th, 1989.  The vigil ended shortly thereafter, but the statue erected in his likeness remains to this day.

Beat Around The Bush

Just a year later, Weed Jesus was roused back to antiwar action when George Bush the 1st launched the first Gulf War against his personal advice. Convinced that Bush’s real motivation was securing control of his oil fields, and frightened by how easily war hysteria had been manufactured, Weed Jesus was the very earliest participant in a spontaneous demonstration of collective disgust that became known as Beat Around the Bush. Weed Jesus created the Beat and the Bush.

Starting with just Weed Jesus and a few angry and outraged souls, the protest grew into hundreds and then thousands of drummers, banging anything they could get their hands on that resembled a drum. Weed Jesus invented the drum.

The protesters were so loud and persistent that George Bush was quoted in the press saying to the Secret Service, “Those damn drums and Weed Jesus are keeping me up all night. Can’t you do something about them?” Weed Jesus promptly had several hundred tee shirts with the quote magically created, the sale of which financed the purchase of even more drums. And while size and volume of the demonstration waxed and waned, it never ended completely, and the drums never stopped—not once during the entire six weeks of the war. Weed Jesus had succeeded in ending the Iraq War with drums and t-shirts.

Initiative 59

In 1998, two years after Weed Jesus helped California write and pass its landmark medical cannabis initiative prop. 215, Weed Jesus played a key leadership role in the passage of Washington D.C.’s medical cannabis initiative, Initiative 59.  Despite winning with 69% of the vote, and in every single precinct in the city, the US Congress used its power to veto implementation of I-59. Shocked and disillusioned by this violation of majority rule, Weed Jesus decided to move to California where, unlike D.C., medical cannabis legislation was not subject to a Congressional veto. Weed Jesus decided to move from the problem because he could not compete with the evil cesspool of demonic rage that was D.C. Nobody knows for sure but some believe Weed Jesus left after being busted by satanic law enforcement for having a hell of a lot of weed in the Weed Jesus van.

Early Days in California

Weed Jesus arrived in California in late 2000, and immersed himself in the local medical cannabis milieu while living in a trailer in one of his follower’s back yard. He was the original founding members of Americans for Safe Access, the premier national advocacy group for medical cannabis patients. He developed ASA’s entire legal and political framework while Steph, Don, and the rest of them did nothing.

He wrote and produced “For Medical Use Only”, a short documentary film; organized all legal cannabis gardens, and developed a new form of magical cannabis concentrate. All the while, he laid plans for a new type of medical cannabis dispensary that would be created in his honor.

Weed Jesus Health Center

Weed Jesus got the chance to put his plans in action October of 2006, when he won a highly competitive RFP process (he actually came in second to a person who dropped out, but who is counting?), and was issued a divine medical cannabis dispensary license by the City of Oakland.  He launched Weed Jesus Health Center (WJHC) to bring a new model of professionalism and integrity to the industry because everyone else who was dispensing cannabis before his was evil and ignorant hucksters.

Weed Jesus quickly gained recognition for its free holistic care clinic that no one actually used, laboratory tested medicine from the lab he created, low-income care package program that he invented, and wide array of other patient services that we cannot really name right this minute. This innovative approach generated widespread acceptance and acclaim by the community, city council, and local law enforcement in Northern California and beyond. Weed Jesus Health Center was the only dispensary worth anything and everyone else sucked nuts.

Weed Jesus Wars on Discovery

Discovery Channel did a show called Weed Jesus Wars that starred Weed Jesus and Weed Jesus Health Center. It bombed and Weed Jesus does not want to talk about it.

Steep Hill Laboratory

In 2009 (even though it was really 2008), Weed Jesus was the sole founder and first CEO of Steep Hill Labs, California’s premier medical cannabis analysis laboratory for safety screening and quality assurance. Weed Jesus was motivated to start the lab after every commercial laboratory in the Bay Area refused to test Weed Jesus Health Center’s medicine, due to fear of retaliation by the federal government. He was solely responsible for the idea of testing cannabis and nobody else had anything to do with it. Between saving the earth and universe from all pain and suffering, Weed Jesus also developed all scientific methods and created CBD.

As stated on Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man on CNN last month, Weed Jesus invented the QuantaCann technology that allows for instant testing of cannabis. Weed Jesus created the QuantaCann using a Fisher-Price microscope, a Light Bright box, and a disposable camera. Nobody else had anything to do with it whatsoever. It was all Weed Jesus.

CannBe/Weed Jesus Management

The failed and largely immoral “McDonald’s of Marijuana” consulting project that Weed Jesus also does not want to talk about.

The ArcView Group

As Weed Jesus and the ventures he created came to the widespread attention of the news media, Weed Jesus was approached by faithful investors seeking advice about the cannabis industry, and hallowed cannabis entrepreneurs seeking start up or growth capital. These encounters led Weed Jesus to found the ArcView Group, an organization formed to introduce the investor community to the cannabis community, and vice versa.  ArcView is dedicated to fostering saintlike entrepreneurship and innovation in the emerging legal cannabis industry; to identifying its most promising opportunities, and matching investors and companies with the right fit. Weed Jesus created cannabis business, so it was a natural fit.

Out of the Shadows,  Into the Light

“Out of the shadows and into the light” epitomizes the Weed Jesus mission.  His work to expose the myths created about cannabis, and to promote the positive science that is starting to emerge about it, aims to enlighten the public on the many benefits of the cannabis plant.

This is an important moment in time and history that can empower the country to change its image and perception of cannabis.  Weed Jesus is leading the way to discovering the many benefits of this amazing plant; to reforming laws that stand in its way; to creating profit for courageous investors; and success for those entrepreneurs who most effectively represent the new legal cannabis industry.

4:20 KID: WEED JESUS WAS BORN AT 4:20PM ON 04/20/1420 AND WEIGHED 4 POUNDS 20 OUNCES

Weed Jesus will always be grateful to his mother, Mamma Weed, for having the great intuition and foresight to give birth to him on April 20, 1420—at precisely 4:20 PM weighing exactly 4 pounds and 20 ounces. As most visitors to this site already know, 4:20 is known throughout the cannabis diaspora as a code for consumption of our favorite plant; as in “Ready for 4:20?”, “Is it 4:20 yet?”, and “It’s always 4:20 somewhere in the world”.

What makes Weed Jesus’ Mom’s feat truly remarkable is that the 4:20 terminology did not first enter the cannabis lexicon until the mid 1970s, when a group of San Rafael High School friends began using the term to refer to their daily cannabis smoking meet up—always at 4:20, after classes ended. Weed Jesus was the obvious inspiration for 4:20.

The 4:20 term remained a piece of fairly obscure regional vernacular until it was picked up and popularized in the 1990’s by Hemp Tour, an organization Weed Jesus founded in 1989 to educate America about the industrial uses of the cannabis plant. Weed Jesus was not only the inspirtation for 4:20 but also was responsible for making the term popular. In some unexplainable way, Weed Jesus’ mother knew, unconsciously but obviously even deep within the fiber of her physical being, that speaking the truth about cannabis would become Weed Jesus’ life mission.

Many folks will of course just attribute the day, time, and weight of the Weed Jesus birth to coincidence, to the off chance settling of random factors into an accidentally profound statement. Believe that if it makes you feel better, if you feel the need to cling to the strict plane of simple rationality; but one of the things Weed Jesus has learned from the cannabis plant is that the complexity of our world cannot be fully explained with rationality, that what we view as coincidence is often really synchronicity, a clue to (glimmer of) the existence of a heretofore unrecognized connection– and a guidepost to those with the courage and faith to acknowledge and act on them.

THAT IS THE DIVINE STORY OF HOW WEED JESUS CAME TO BE. YOU TOO CAN ACCEPT WEED JESUS TO BE YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR AND HAVE HIM ACCEPT ALL OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS AS HIS OWN.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WEED JESUS VISIT WWW.THEWEEDJESUS.COM.

(DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A PARODY WORK. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE IRONY.)

 

 

Finding Motivation When Things Do Not Go Our Way

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Life is a series of victories and defeats.

We are challenged to define ourselves by the victories and work to learn from our defeats. There are a lot of things that will not go our way here on planet earth, and yet we must learn to press on and stay inspired even when things suck. It is easy to be inspired when everything is hunky dory. But we must learn to stay inspired when things are not great and the pressures of the world are closing in on us.

How does one do this? How can we get past the frustration, depression, and anger of situations that suck and still be motivated to move forward and reach for the stars? What must we do to convince ourselves that despite the issues we are facing there is still the need to find our inspiration and keep moving forward?

It is hard. There is no question about that. Life can be a real bitch sometimes and make you not want to get up and face the world. No matter how blessed we are life still presents each and every one of us with our own unique obstacles and challenges. No one gets out unscathed. So knowing you are not alone can be helpful.

A lot of how we understand things comes from our own perspective. If we allow for difficult things to wear us down and make us feel defeated then we should not be surprised when they chew us up and spit us out.

If we look at the difficulties that life presents as an opportunity to overcome and create light from the darkness, then we can shift our perspective from one of “poor me” to “fuck them.”

We can use the actual problems we face as motivation. Here is this gigantic problem standing in your way challenging your ability and resolve. Are you going to let that stupid problem get the best of you? I would hope not…

You are better than that. Kick that problem in the nuts and crush it. What else are you gonna do? Roll over and die?

We inevitably have to face the issues that stand between us and our goals. One must not be afraid to take a challenge head on and do what is necessary to make the best of a bad situation. It might seem too much to overcome, but running from problems never helps. Accept the challenge and let it inspire you to overcome.

Look at cannabis prohibition. For decades our government has waged all out war on folks who use weed and have locked up innumerable people as a result. Yet the plant is still winning the battle.

People have pressed on in the face of agression and have worked tirelessly to free the plant from the clutches of tyranny, even when risking their own freedom. Cannabis is more prevalent than ever and their war of misinformation and lies is coming to an end. Where would we be if people gave up, or decided that the challenge of prohibition was just too much to overcome? plantwar.1

Understanding that life’s challenges are part of the deal, and that we can either overcome them or be rolled over, gives us an edge. It enables us to see more clearly the path we must take to find victory.

Never let the dumb shit get you down. It will not do you any good, and you will waste valuable time bitching and moaning about things while you should be kicking some ass and taking some names.

Be motivated by you. Do not wait for the world to come to you; but take it to the world, and make a difference. They want you to be down. They want you to feel defeated.

But there is not a lot that is worth getting down over in the big picture of it all.

We live. We learn. We work. We make money. We have fun. We become our experiences. Then we die. It is all relative and very temporary, so try not to get hung up on the bullshit.

One foot in front of the other….Keep on moving. Don’t stop. We got places to go and people to argue with…..so get moving. Time is of the essence. You will never get more time.

Quit wasting it on worrying and start finding that motivation that lives inside of you. It is there. It is your duty to realize it and use it to overcome whatever challenges face you today, tomorrow and forever.

The Struggle

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What is “The Struggle?”; and are you in it?

The struggle is a term used to describe the issues facing the socio-economic challenged people who live day-to-day struggling to get by and stay straight. There is no level of income or geographic location that defines the struggle. The struggle is everywhere. Some places more than others, but there is a little struggle almost everywhere if you look close enough.

So what creates the struggle? Why in a world of so many resources is there a struggle at all?

If you believe the Horatio Alger myth and the old pull yourself up by your bootstraps bullshit, then you would say that the reason people are in the struggle is because they are lazy bad people who could not overcome life’s challenges. The real truth is a lot of folks do not even have boot straps to pull up if they wanted to. Are there bad and lazy people out there? Sure…but the majority folks in the struggle are there because we live in a pretty fucked up and greedy world.

There is no real reason anybody needs to be in the struggle. There is plenty of money and resources to go around for everyone. But the human experience does not work like that. We have decided that because we work harder, know more, or were born into the right family, that we are more worthy than the next guy. Granted, if a person works hard and is knowledgeable they deserve a great payday. But a person who may not work as hard, or did not have the opportunity to get educated does not deserve to starve in the struggle.

The system is set up for people to fail. A lot of the world is a trap set to ensure the weak-minded and desperate are chewed up and spit out. By keeping people in poverty it is easy to control them and get them to perform dangerous and terrible jobs for little or no pay. We flood the ghetto with dope and booze and then send out the goon squads to lock up everyone we see.

Our society destroys families by taking their mothers and fathers to jail at alarming rates for victimless crimes. I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with us that we allow for this all to happen in our name. It is as if we believe that there are a certain class of people that deserve what they have coming, and we all collectively look away day-after-day as our oppressive government locks away good people for decades because they landed in the struggle.

It is fucked up and it should make you sick. We are better than this.

I am pretty far from the actual struggle, as I generally have more than I need. I vacation in the struggle every once in a while, and still live month to month; but I got it pretty good. Some months are better than others and the uncertainty of certain financial limitations is definitely frustrating. But for the most part I am doing a hell of a lot better than most, and for that I am grateful. I try to do what I can to use my resources to help my fellow man, and like to think I do pretty well.

I have no idea what kind of dick I would be if I were mega rich. I would likely be terrible at being rich because I enjoy the struggle too much to be that removed from it.

I would just spend it all on making weed legal anyways.

I do not really get the whole super rich 1% thing. Does it make people feel better about who they are? Do they assume they are better people because they have figured out how to fuck more people out of their hard earned cash than the next guy? Maybe.

To me it just seems irrelevant and stupid at some point.

When a person has more money than they will ever spend in their life it begs to wonder what the fuck they are doing? Like, what is the point? We get it…you got a bunch of money and have used it to get even more money regardless of the toll it takes on our society and lives.

That is just sad. It is not an accomplishment. It is a disorder of some sort. Your need for money has become you, and you cease to exist. People only see you as a rich prick. Congratulations.

Who am I to judge? I am one of the thousands of people in the picture above. I am one of the 99%. I am the guy who thinks you suck.

There are some mega-rich dudes that do the right thing…sort of. Who knows? Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have donated a large part of their fortunes to doing good across the globe, which is definitely cool. But where are the results? Why do I walk through West Oakland saddened by the state of people’s living conditions and willingness to commit crimes and sell their bodies for some scratch?

How good are we as a society if we have left so many to suffer senselessly, while the few have so damn much? It is a bizarre behavior.

So many are willing to trample the masses for their shot at fame and fortune. So many more do not speak up because they hope to one day be wealthy themselves, or have simply lost their voice over too much time in the struggle.

We have crushed the souls of many so that a select group of citizens can live beyond their wildest dreams. Is that healthy? Why do we do it then?

The struggle is part of the story….it is the shitty part. Most of the time the story ends tragically and leads to many more tragic tales. It is a vicious cycle of anger and mistrust. We have fucked each other over to get ahead for so long that we have lost sight of the big picture. We have sacrificed a lot of good folks in the name of greed. It has got to stop.

Inequality is real. It is also shameful.

I hope the young people growing up will find a way to change the way we glorify wealth and ignore poverty. I hope a collective conscious forms that understands we are only as good as our lowest common denominator. We are all in this shit together, regardless of whether people want to believe it or not.

The bullshit oppression that we see ingrained into the fabric of our communities must change, and it is…even if slowly. Our values and morals are changing, and mostly for the better.

Younger generations do not view race and class in the same light as older generations. We are evolving, and we see the world waking up to the fact that we have been hoodwinked for a long long time.

The drug war and weed prohibition are used as tools to keep arresting and oppressing poor people.

Rich kids do not end up in jail for weed. We have allowed for our police forces to be militarized, and for the drug war to invade the homes of our friends and neighbors with reckless abandon. Our rights are being trampled on the daily, and  we have nothing to show for it. Drugs are more prevalent than ever, addiction rates have not changed in 40 years, and we have spent over a trillion dollars imprisoning mostly brown people at five times the rate of the rest of the world. Super.

Our society has created the struggle. Or at least have allowed for it to be created in our name…and by our name we can reverse the struggle too.

We must demand equality and fairness for everyone. The time is coming where the tired views of yesterday will go to the grave with the bigots and misinformed, and it will no longer be okay to shit on the next guy to get ahead. It already should be that way, and we should all live our lives as if it is.

Fuck the 1% and their drug war. For now…the struggle continues, baby-baby!

 

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose…..

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Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free…

I sit here on a day dedicated to “independence and freedom” and ponder the reality of real freedom. Do we honestly know what that is, or have we been lulled into thinking that since we have the latest iPhone and a pair of fancy designer jeans we must be free?

But there is no such thing as absolute freedom, and for good reason. If people were free to rape, murder, and pillage what kind of society would this be? So there have to be certain barriers to complete freedom to live in a civilized community that govern people’s actions. But where have these laws and regulations become more than that?

When did we allow for the need to establish rules for bad behavior into this death web of overreach and intrusion? At what point do we understand that we have enough laws and regulations on the books?

Think about it…..for the past two hundred thirty-seven years in this Country we have had a group of hundreds of lawmakers making laws and rules to be enforced. They have made one law after another stacking them on top of each other. Rarely is a law repealed. Just more laws added. Now add to that each of the 50 states with their own group of hundreds of lawmakers who spend every year making more an more laws. Then there are local governments adding to the fun with their codes and regulations.

What you get is a pile of LIMITATION and CONFINEMENT……you know, the opposite of freedom.

So forgive me if I hum the land of the free and home of the brave part of the National Anthem these days.  It is hard for me to it say out loud with a straight face, as our militarized police forces run roughshod over our communities enforcing bad laws put in place by ideological scumbags who are bought and paid for by big business lobbying groups.

Just look at the drug war. Millions of people imprisoned for crimes with no victims.

How can a country that claims to be the “home of the free” lock up 25% of the world’s prison population when they only have 5% of the world’s population? We imprison five times the amount of people as the rest of the world and we want to tout FREEDOM as one of our ideals and values? I am not feeling it.

Maybe at one time in the late 1700’s we were actually the home of the free (not really with slavery), but we have been taking away those freedoms for over 200 years now and what has resulted is the least free situation I can really think of.

We are not free because we say we are. it does not work like that. Freedom is a way of life. It is living without the fear of being persecuted and/or prosecuted for living your life and doing things that do not harm others.

The more I look around and realize that this freedom deal is a farce, the more I am driven to find real freedom or die. I will not sit down and shut up. I am not going away.

We got right-wing religious assholes passing laws to limit women’s reproductive rights. Lawmakers working to deport all “illegal imigrants” and wall us in. We have those who would choose to tell gay people their love is not real or worthy of the term “marriage.” Politicians are working to undermine social safety nets that protect the most vulnerable by cutting food stamps and health care benefits for those in the struggle. They are passing laws to ensure workers cannot collectively bargain for better wages. They have voted thirty-eight times to repeal a law that ensures people have the freedom of health care. Free speech is dwindling, as they pass laws to shut down Internet and media freedoms. We do not even let a terminally ill person have the right to die if they want to.

So forgive me if I call BULLSHIT on your claim of “freedom.” This is not the land of the free. It is the land of the making you think you are free while we take away all of your rights and imprison your neighbors. It is a racket. But do not worry….we will make a YouTube video of cats playing the piano to distract you from the tyranny.

 

So as you wander around today watching some fireworks show that was likely limited due to budget cuts because we spent all of our money taking away freedom and attacking other countries, just remember we had this little talk. Feel free to celebrate your pride in America, but then work to make America that idealistic bullshit when it is said and done.

If we do not stand up and demand our freedoms be restored, they never will be. It is that simple.

These assholes will continue to make law after law that makes it illegal for you to live, and they will continue to lock up good people at alarming rates for shit that is not even a crime. If you want to continue to tout “freedom” as a value of this country and its people then it is high time we began to end the policies that have resulted with us being the largest jailers of humans on the planet.

Until then we are basically the “land of the prison industrial complex and the home of the grave.” Enjoy your hot dogs.

Massachusetts: Learn from Real Cannabis Outlaws

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Foreman of jury in Rosenthal case issues apology for guilty verdict

Have you ever wondered what it is like to wake up to armed Federal officers swarming your home because you provided cannabis to sick people? Do you want to know what it is like to realize that your medical cannabis candy company has been raided and is on every major news network in America? Are you interested in understanding how cannabis intolerance affects families and their children?

While there certainly are many lawyers and consultants coming to Massachusetts touting their cannabis business bona fides, none of them have experienced firsthand the real dangers of the cannabis business…facing charges for doing the right thing.

Our panel of experts not only has nearly 100 years of experience directly working with cannabis, but they have the scars to prove it. They are true-to-life cannabis outlaws.

The Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal, was one of the first people to be raided and charged in Federal court for providing medical cannabis. His landmark case propelled the cannabis movement into the mainstream and his story was heavily covered nationally. Ed became the poster boy for the battle between the Feds and states with medical cannabis laws. An incredible activist effort (and a team of great attorneys) kept Ed from going to prison, as the Judge gave him a sentence of one day time served.

mickey.pressconference.1Mickey Martin ran a company called Tainted Inc. that made medical cannabis foods for patients in California. His company caught the feds attention for producing candy’s that mimicked mainstream brands, such as the world famous Reefer’s Peanut Butter Cup. His company was raided and he was charged with several felonies for his role in providing cannabis foods for qualified patients. At his sentencing, the Judge noted that he was not motivated by profit and believed he was providing a service to sick people, and sentenced him to two years of community confinementinstead of the three years in prison the US Government was asking for.

Addison Demoura operated a dispensary in Oakdale, CA and was raided by intolerant local authorities in Stanislaus County. During the raid officers traumatized his wife and children, and charged him with several felonies for operating his dispensary. After finding officers left out important information when requesting the search warrants the case was dropped and Addison Demoura successfully sued the local authorities for damages. Stanislaus County settled with the Demoura’s out of court for a hefty sum, and was forced to return what was taken in the raids.

So while many so-called experts come to Massachusetts touting their credentials, none of them have the real life experiences to help people understand the true risks and rewards of the cannabis industry like the speakers of the Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum. If people want to learn the honest truth about the industry and learn from the experiences of our cannabis outlaws, then they have got to buy the ticket and take the ride on July 12th, 13th, and 14th for the Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum events in Lowell, Boston, and Dartmouth.

Come and learn from our panel of cannabis outlaws and pioneers. Before it was cool to provide medical cannabis our speakers were doing it, and doing it well. Their colorful and interesting stories make for a great special interest piece and their interviews always provide good information for readers, viewers, and listeners. Come out to the events and find out not just about the beautiful side of the industry, but also the very real challenges that we all still face.

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To set up and interview with one or all of our speakers feel free to contact us by phone or email. Thanks.

CONTACT: Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum/ p. (508) 289-1779 e. cannabisknowledgeforum@gmail.com

www.CannabisKnowledgeForum.com