Still Just About A Plant and Some Freedom

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Don’t get it twisted. Weed ain’t even close to legal yet.

While it is nice to look at the progress we have made with adult use legalization happening in 4 states and DC, and with new states implementing medical cannabis laws every day, don’t forget that cannabis is still very much an illegal and dangerous deal for a hell of a lot of people.

There are still hundreds of thousands of people in jail right now for growing, selling, and even just smoking some weed. Thousands of parents have lost their children over weed. Millions of people have lost a job because they smoke weed. Even those lucky enough to escape the harsh punishments of the drug war philosophy on weed have experienced diminished standing in the community, or they have had to hide their choice to use weed from everyone.

After everything, weed is still very much discriminated against and met with fierce opposition and punishment.

Weed is a plant… A safe, enjoyable, and very helpful plant. There is nothing about the cannabis plant that makes it dangerous or even remotely scary. They hysteria and propaganda of Drug Warriors have succeeded in making a beautiful plant into the boogie man. It is nonsensical at its core and one of the biggest scams ever pulled on people. It is a fucking plant.

The plant makes a lot of people feel better. It has healing and therapeutic effects that continue to be documented. It wasn’t even until 1992 that the Endocannabinoid System was even discovered…. nearly 20 years after Nixon began the war on drugs that included the hippies beloved cannabis.

Scientists began to look for receptor sites to explain the action of other drugs and toxins in a similar way. In 1988, specific receptors were discovered for THC (tetrahydrocannibol, the active ingredient in marijuana).

THC isn’t found naturally in the body. The existence of a specific ‘bliss receptor’ for THC implied that it was actually just a forgery of a hitherto unknown natural molecular key. The key was isolated by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam in 1992: arachidonyl ethanolamide, later called ‘anandamide’ (a Sanskrit word for “internal bliss”):

So THC has the ability to mimic the naturally occurring effect of anandamide, often associated with the feeling of bliss. Why ever would we outlaw a safe plant that has the ability to help a person find bliss? The basics of cannabis prohibition defy logic in every way and have resulted in an absolute failure of our society that has been catastrophic. Side effects…. Euphoria. Yeah. Sue me.

We have denied people the FREEDOM to choose to use weed. Why?

We have locked up and punished millions and millions of people’s whose only crime is weed. Have we lost our fucking collective minds? People are rotting away in the bloated prison industrial complex because of cannabis, and somehow our society has become immune to these injustices. There are so many folks out there who have taken the lies of prohibition hook, line, and sinker. People continue to make a mockery of civilization with this absurd lack of freedom to use a useful plant. Who do these folks think they are?

So there you have the bottom line basics…. “It is still just about a plant and some freedom.”

Yet as we see the tide turning there are so many jackasses who see greed, fame, and fortune; and who simply do not care about the plant or the freedom. They just care about the money. It is such bullshit.

I happened to put on Pot Barons of Colorado, a hyperbole filled television series on MSNBC starring apparently gigantic assholes who are all hoping to sell the fuck out to some big money corporations one day, and wander off with their enormous bag of cash. I could only stomach to watch it for about a half an hour before literally wanting to punch Trip Keber in his throat, so I turned it off.

But not before I got to see more than I needed to see, and realized these pathetic get rich quick losers had no clue about weed, and only care about freedom as far as their business is concerned. They want to cry because they can’t get a bank account, but do very little to fight for people who can’t even get a student loan because of their involvement with cannabis. They bitch and moan because their profit margins are so small, but could give a shit that there are tens of thousands of people who can’t even get a job because of their use of weed. These bastards want to bellyache about their struggle to stay afloat in a marketplace that is unstable and changing, and they never take into consideration the reality that what is really unstable is a home where kids are growing up without parents because of the war on weed.

Yes… Cannabis business is a reality; but it is pretty fucking far from the only reality.

Swing a dead cat around and you are sure to hit some asshole who thinks he is “the next big thing” or “God’s gift to cannabis.” Spare me the rhetoric. I have seen more of these selfish and inconsiderate pricks come and go than I care to admit. Yawn. Tell me again about how your new __________ (insert stupid cannabis product and/or marketing idea here) is the “first” and how everyone in the industry before you has been doing it wrong.

It is certainly sad to see people make their quick buck off of weed and do absolutely nothing to fight to really end cannabis prohibition. It is disheartening to know that these fools have no idea what it is like to not sleep because you know the DEA are kicking the door in any day now. Their smug and insensitive bullshit makes me angry.

But I take comfort in knowing most of these scumbags will fail, and they will fail miserably. They will lose everything in their quest to be the king of weed. They will take their investors down with them. It will be fun to watch. Live it up now fellas because 99% of you will be nowhere to be found in a few years. Your well-documented failures will be a blip in cannabis history.

The whole shit show is sure to get better before it gets worse… and yet it is so simple. It is simply about a plant and some freedom.

It isn’t about you or me, or any of these silly-ass companies trying to make a name for themselves. It isn’t about how to morph your non-profit reform organization into a business model down the road. It is not about who is the most successful or who has the biggest weed dick.

It is about a plant… and some freedom. Get it? It is about the basic decency not to fuck with our fellow man because they want the freedom to use this plant to increase their quality of life.

Those who get it will stand up and fight to end this bullshit… Those who do not will continue to suck up time and energy. Get on the right side of history or get the fuck out of my way. The rest of this busllshit is just window dressing.

Losers Never Win… Legalization Is No Loser

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Election Day 2014 has come and gone. The people have spoken, and despite a somewhat frightening wave of Republican victories that speak more to the cowardly strategies of the Democrats than the strength of right wing positions, the weed vote went incredibly well…. again. Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia all voted to legalize cannabis for adult use rather handily. There was not even a very close result. Alaska won by 4 points- Oregon won by almost 9 points- AND DC WON BY ALMOST 39 POINTS. None of those are nail biters. Any politician in America would take those results in a heartbeat.

The funny-not-funny vote of the night was in Florida where Amendment 2 on MEDICAL marijuana failed to meet the 60% threshold needed to pass. To be fair 57.6% of the people did vote Yes, but in Florida it requires 60% to pass an Amendment, so the effort failed there by a lousy 2.4%. But I think there is a valuable lesson here…. medical cannabis is not necessarily the overwhelmingly popular issue it once was. Initial polling had support for medical marijuana in the state of Florida at nearly 90%… so what happened?

What happened was billionaire Sheldon Adelson put $5.5 million dollars into an effective campaign that told people they were being bullshitted. The narrative was that the law was not truthful and was littered with “loopholes.” The opposition campaign seized on the reality that even though there are still a lot of people who hate weed, there are even more who hate being lied to. They successfully portrayed the Amendment as a front for adult use and effectively demonized the thought of cannabis caregivers actually being drug dealers who would somehow be protected by this ruse. The message was certainly effective enough to stifle enough of the vote that it resulted in failure. Check out the ad below to see how the opposition chose to spin it:

Do you see what they did there? The argument was never against medical cannabis, or cannabis at all. It was to inform people they were being supposedly lied to. They framed the argument so that the average voter would take pause, and they banked that they could create enough doubt to keep the Amendment from passing with that strategy…. and they were right. “It isn’t what is seems.” That is where the political strategists who designed the No on 2 campaign hung their hat. On making voters feel like they were being duped. I do not believe that 42.4% of Florida believes that sick people should not have access to cannabis. I do think that many were willing to believe that the whole medical deal is a sham and that they should vote no to avoid being bullshitted.

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The irony of passing three adult use legalization initiatives, but failing to pass a medical marijuana amendment is too much to ignore. I have long said that it is time for us to move past the medical only debate and to shift our time, energy, and resources towards adult use, which would encompass medical cannabis and take away the never ending questions of “Who is sick enough to smoke pot?” and “Is this really medical, or am I being bullshitted?”

I have done a great deal of outreach in communities all over the United States, and even the most staunch supporters of cannabis have looked at me point blank and said, “But the whole medical deal is kind of bullshit, right?” I then go into my whole speech about preventive medicine and forcing people to maybe fudge an illness to avoid prison for growing plants; but I shouldn’t have to. The reality is that on some levels they are right. A lot of the activity the cannabis community dubs “medical’ just does not meet that standard in our society, and creates more questions than answers for a lot of people. I think this is what moved the needle in Florida, and what will continue to undermine medical only efforts going forward.

In states where we see new medical programs coming into place, what we see are super burdensome regulations and laws being put forth meant to “ensure this is only accessed by the truly sick and dying.” Limiting patients rights to cultivate, to have caregivers, and to have a free and competitive markets are all hallmarks of people wanting to make sure that they are not being bullshitted by these potheads. If they want medical they will get medical. How is that working out New Jersey? Exactly.

The reality is that people do not hate weed like they used to. What they hate is feeling like they are not having an honest conversation. I believe that our community continues to stretch the medical conversation too far. The results are twofold… 1) It creates a lot of doubt for people who have no skin in the game. Your average voter and citizen is not necessarily opposed to weed, but they do know they have never gone to the doctor at a Cypress Hill concert.; and 2) It does a huge disservice to those patients who do have serious illnesses for which cannabis can be beneficial, as they are lumped in with the perception that what the cannabis community is pushing as medical does not always meet that standard of medicine as defined by our  collective culture.

The lesson learned from last night’s election are simple… People are ready for legal weed.

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I believe that we could have put the nail in the coffin last night had the reform community and their financial sugar daddys had the courage to run an adult use legalization initiative here in California. The state has 10% of the nation’s population and is the leading producer of our nation’s agriculture crops. It is also the American stronghold for the wine industry, as its ideal growing climates are good for both grapes and weed. But the big money and local players decided to let it ride and wait for the sure thing in 2016. I have told them all they were fools, and the good people of Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia also called them fools last night. They will still try to sell you a bag of goods about “youth turnout” and “questionable support,” but I think our neighbors to the north in Oregon proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are just plain wrong. We could be celebrating today California, but instead we sit here being threatened by the USDOJ for not having a statewide regulatory model and watch as our own supposed supporters and their “lobbying efforts” work to shut down most of the industry as we know it. But don’t worry… it is only two more years until 2016.

Those could end up being a very long two years.

As marijuana continues to gain mainstream popularity and more focus is put on the industry, know that the lack of definition in California’s law will continue to haunt us. Empowered by a wave of conservative victories in the midterm, it would not be surprising to see the current administration make knee jerk concessions in an effort to negotiate with the Republican congress.

But who knows? Maybe even the conservatives are getting it now that the people want their weed… and at least the conservatives will have the balls to actually do something about it. How long is it before the right wing looks around and says, “Shit… Everyone seems to want their weed. Maybe we should just give it to them and champion that issue before 2016. Where is all that money going anyway?”

I would not be surprised at all to see another California crackdown in the near future. I think we shot ourselves in the foot by not seizing the moment and capitalizing of the momentum from our victories in CO and WA in 2012. We have left a lot to chance, and it would not be surprising to see the CA Legislature pass a much more restrictive adult use and medical regulatory model before the election in 2016 ever happens. In fact, I almost can guarantee it. It will be a “good enough” model that ensures very few can meet the burden of the barriers to entry, and it will be the death of the current cannabis landscape, as well as the hopes for anything of substance in 2016. Maybe I am wrong… Lord, I hope I am wrong. But I have seen these stars align before.

Who knows what the future holds? I do know that today I raise my bubbler to the great citizens of Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia for standing up for cannabis freedom and moving us that much closer to ending this thing. As a person who has worked a long and hard time on cannabis reform efforts it is inspiring to see us changing the hearts and minds of a Nation… one cannabis-loving state at a time if we have to. While I will never be able to wrap my head around what people who oppose cannabis are thinking, it is comforting to know that more and more of my neighbors and fellow citizens are getting it, and that we are that much closer to winning.

I celebrate the victories and I am sorry for the tens of thousands of people in Florida who are still criminals for their right to use cannabis. We mourn for those who desperately need access to cannabis as a medicine there who were counting Amendment 2 to pass. I do believe that the 57.6% of people voting yes is a powerful message, and it is hopeful that your lawmakers might listen.

Hopefully lawmakers everywhere will listen, and get on the right side of history sooner than later. Cannabis is a safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant. There is no more boogie man here. People want their weed. Legalization is winning… Prohibition must end soon.

As a community we need to begin to ask ourselves what we really want and begin to ask for that. It makes no sense to limit ourselves any longer. What we want is weed… and we want you to quit taking us to fucking jail for it. Or taking our kids. Or making us lose our jobs. Or losing student loans. Or our standing in our community. We want a fair and level playing field for the industry where quality, innovation, and value rule the market… not politics. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can end this awkward dance with what is cannabis freedom and who qualifies for it.

Losers never win…. and only a real loser would look at the writing on the wall and not change strategy. Adult use legalization is no loser. Victory or Valhalla.

Separate Togetherness- How cannabis cowards and wannabe politician activists with funding agendas have made the prohibitionists argument for them

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Cannabis reform is difficult. Finding methods and strategies to overcome decades of lies and deception is no easy task. Add to that the entrenched tribal views of the folks involved who have aligned themselves with this group or that organization and what you generally end up with is a bunch of egoheads infighting about who is the best and most worthy of funding.

Do not get it twisted. The goal of most reform groups and organizations is not cannabis freedom… it is funding. It is the same slutty whore dance that politicians do to finance their campaigns. It is a willingness to say and do whatever it takes to get some well-to-do prick to give you a boatload of money so you can further your mission, which again is to raise more money. It is cyclical. A lot of the reformers we see do very little in the way of actual reform and spend most of their time and resources raising money.

I am not naive about this. I have written about it many times at the national level. I have watched the shit show for too long not to see the writing on the wall. But I still like to give most people the benefit of the doubt when I first meet them. I would like to believe that there are some folks left whose ultimate goal is making the world a better place for cannabis users and patients.

So as I began to organize a direct action protest in Massachusetts I was confident that I could enlist the support of the many small local groups who make up the activist landscape there. After watching the entire system implode on itself for the last two years, it was obvious there was a need for a coming together and raising our voices in disapproval. Motivated by the desperate and frustrated pleas of several patients who were left in the cold by the MA Department of Public Health’s bungling of the program, including the parents of sick children who deserved access to safe and effective medicines to treat their child’s health issues, I began to organize #UNACCEPTABLE.

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The Direct Action event will be held October 14th at the DPH beginning with a rally, followed by a press conference, concluding with a solidarity march through downtown Boston ending up at the MA State House. I began organizing the event with some local activists and patients who were suffering. The action is clear in its mission… “Demanding that the State of Massachusetts put PATIENTS Before Politics.” Nearly two years after citizens overwhelmingly voted to allow patients access to medical cannabis the State has failed to implement a safe and convenient program. Patients are still forced to access dangerous black markets for medicine. This is unacceptable…

Simple enough, right? Seemed like a no-brainer to me. Here is a statement that the entire community should be able to stand behind and support. So I began to enlist the help of the local organizations in Massachusetts.

I sent out an email to Matt Allen, the head of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance (MPAA), as his recent press conference was in line with the action we were planning. We also contacted MassCann, the local SSDP chapters, the Cannabis Reform Coalition, and any other folks we believed could help us get the word out. The idea was to make it an open and inclusive event where groups and individuals could speak out about what has been an absolute nightmare in implementing a program for medical cannabis patients. I expected that these groups could find a way to put their differences in opinion aside for one day and work towards pressuring the DPH into actually implementing a safe and sensible program as was voted on by the citizens of the Commonwealth by a whopping 63% in 2012.

I was a bit taken back when Matt Allen and MPAA responded:

“Not sure if it makes sense for us to collaborate on this or if it would be more effective to keep doing stuff on parallel tracks, which can sometimes be even more effective- like if we can get the administration from all sides.”

So I followed up by responding:

The goal of collaboration would be to show a unified front. It would simply be you sharing the event on your network, and speaking if you would like. If organizational obligations keep you from doing so I certainly understand. I just wanted to give you the opportunity to be a part of this further action to put some pressure on DPH.

Yesterday I received a follow up call from Matt Allen on this matter and it became clear what his underlying issue was. He informed me his “advisory board” had decided not to participate or support the #UNACCEPTABLE Direct Action event because they could not be sure that since the event was “not in their control” that the other participants involved would be capable of representing the values of the organization. He stated, “We can’t be involved with people smoking in public. We have a reputation to uphold to allow us to continue to work on policy issues.” He then kept going on about how he did not want MPAA’s delicate image to be tarnished by the confusion of associating with other groups who support legalization. He mentioned MassCann no less than 5 times before I had to kindly remind him that I was not a part of MassCann, that they were not organizing the event, that it was a patient focused action, and that his wanting to be considered separate and seemingly above their group was short sighted, as adult use legalization would make medical access a no-brainer.

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The guy even had the nerve to tell me, “Well the Boston Freedom Rally is not a very good look for the community.”

The Boston Freedom Rally has been an amazing event creating awareness for cannabis freedom for 25 years, and has helped more to push real reform in the state than any of the sad sell-out strategies that Mr. Allen believes his organization is responsible for. He went on to say that if it were not for MPAA there would have been no Question 3, which is utter bullshit. That law was funded and orchestrated by Peter Lewis and his liaison Graham Boyd, and they simply used MPAA to give the effort that grassroots and folksy feel. Matt Allen, who at that time was the only Board member for MPAA and the sole beneficiary of any funding it received, wrote ZERO parts of the law that was enacted by the voters. His willingness to claim credit for the effort is laughable at best.

But let’s let him have the credit, as I politely did yesterday on the phone with him. So if this is the law YOU got passed and two years later NOTHING has come of it, then you too would be responsible for the shitty implementation of said law, no? I mean if this was your baby, and it left so many holes for the DPH to drive their “I hate marijuana” truck through, then do you take responsibility for that too? If you are taking credit for getting the thing passed then do you also take credit for it sucking? If not, why? You can’t have it both ways, Matt.

What I found striking in every time I have spoken with Matt is his outward and shallow effort to raise funds for his pathetic organization. He actually began his conversation yesterday by telling me how frustrated he was that “all of the dispensary groups who are trying to get approved in the state won’t give MPAA money, when he knows they pay lobbyists $10k a month.” The jealousy in his voice was undeniable and it was obvious that his sales approach to these folks was not working. Which is why he has taken up shelter under the flag of the local ACLU now… yes, the same group responsible for the limiting legalization law in Washington State, another effort funded by Lewis.

Funny… I wonder why their involvement with legalization efforts is okay and MassCann’s is not?

But I digress… Here is a group who has done virtually nothing to defend the rights of patients in the state for the last two years. They have bent over to appease the Department of Public Health and have made concessions in the regulatory process that have ended up in the ZERO access that we see now. No legal action. No protest. Nothing. Finally after pressure from people in the community wondering why they were doing nothing they decided to do a press conference a couple weeks back and finally pretend that they were disappointed in the process. Well way to go. It has only been two years of you sitting on your hands, but alright… you did something. The organization has not even updated its website in the past year plus, and has been sporadic in its efforts at the local level.

Let me guess…. the Newton dispensary is the only one who is paying your ransom right now because that is the only effort you have worked on at the local level since your other marks lost their permits. Does that sound right? You run a pay to play operation, and so if a group does not give you the money you do not have the time and energy to do the work. But you still want to say this is about the patients? That is laughable….

Which gets to the bigger picture philosophical discussion I hope we can have as a community. How can we demand that public officials and lawmakers quit playing politics with patient rights when those who claim to represent our community are as, if not more, guilty than them? When an organization such as MPAA only puts its time and energy into helping in areas where the dispensary stakeholders have given them funding, what does that say about us as a community? When a group decides to exclude their efforts from cannabis legalization in an  effort to appear holier than thou in the eyes of regulators who could give a shit, how does that help our cause?

MPAA is not alone. There are many organizations that take part in selective support and “we are not with those weedheads” bullshit efforts. I know Matt Allen has long been courting Americans for Safe Access for funding after his organization was cut off from MPP funding a couple years back. I am not sure exactly where his funding is coming from right now, but it is easy to guess based on the effort put forth. I would call on the organization, a nonprofit corporation filed as both MPAA and MPAA Foundation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to make their funding records public so we may all really see who and what is driving the organization. I believe what you will find is a puppetmaster.

The sad reality is that MPAA, and many other organizations who claim to be working for “patients” and “reform” are simply not. They are working for funding and are willing to sell you out to achieve that funding. Many of the people and organizations that are put forth to protect us are the very ones making the prohibitionists arguments for them. They are willing to concede your right to access and use cannabis freely to go out of their way to make the point that cannabis is somehow dangerous and in need of more regulations. They continue to help lawmakers and regulators build the barriers to entry to the industry that has resulted in rich money hungry and politically well-connected being the only people who can afford to pay to play any more… and if those rich bastards do not cough up some money to their organizations they will not represent them in public either. It is sad and pathetic, and more unethical than the politicians themselves who take money from people to help their company make more money by fucking over the public. At least the politicians do not pretend they are some sort of activist here to help you.

So as we move forward on what is sure to be a historic direct action demanding that the Commonwealth implement a program that allows those in need access to cannabis medicine, we will not miss the participation of those who believe they are better than the rest of us and who will not be seen in public with us. We do not need some sell-out wannabe politician activists who are too worried about their image to get their hand dirty as a part of our effort anyway. Their inaction and limited support over the past two years proves that they have no respect from actual patients, the groups seeking licensing, or the DPH. They are nobodies who have sold themselves a bill of goods in hopes of getting one of these big money player to cut them a check.

With friends like that who needs prohibitionists?

P.S. Mat Allen can feel free to continue to disparage me to others behind closed doors. I will not take it personally. I am no wallflower. I embrace the controversial nature of my activism and stand behind my beliefs.. which is more than I can say for him and his group.

 

The Sky Has Not Fallen So Get On With It…

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So close and yet so far…. I am growing tired of fighting for the inevitable.

Weed is going to be legal. Everyone knows it. Even our staunchest opponents agree legalization is inevitable. So what are we waiting for? Why is there this awkward transition into what we all know is much better for our society…. an end to the drug war and the militarized police state it has created.

As we watched Ferguson explode over the unnecessary death of an unarmed black teen, it was a stark reminder that the role of policing in this country has drastically changed over the years, as the drug war has escalated and targeted mostly poor and minority communities. We lock up 25% of the world’s prison population but only have 5% of the actual population. That is a pretty big red flag for a country that calls itself the “Land of the Free.” Maybe it should be the “Land of the Free Unless You Are Poor and/or Brown.”

We see the call for reform and a change in policy from everywhere these days, and there have certainly been efforts by groups to end the draconian methods of enforcing so-called justice that have gotten us into this mess. The US Justice Department has made some efforts to change policy and reform sentencing, but it is a far cry from where we need to be.

An easy start would be to just make weed legal. There is an overwhelming shift in public opinion towards allowing for cannabis to be grown and sold, and the ongoing quasi-legal state mandated programs across the country have proven to be anything but the disaster that law enforcement and drug warriors promised would happen.

For nearly 20 years medical marijuana has been a staple of the California landscape, and many other states have followed suit in one way or another. In Colorado and Washington State we have seen clear benefits of adult use legalization, with very little harm to report. What we have seen instead are good paying jobs, tax revenues, and an increase in public safety as more people shift from booze to weed because they can.

This is not rocket science. This is clear benefit to harm ratio stuff. To simply put it, is there more good than bad happening? The answer is clearly yes.

The sky has not fallen. People have not lost their minds, or given up on life. There has not been an outbreak of dangerous crime surrounding cannabis. Addiction rates are not through the roof. Youth use of weed is not increasing drastically, as predicted.

The lies we have been told for decades about why weed should be kept illegal are falling on deaf ears. The numbers don’t add up.

Those who oppose legalization continue to try and retard the growth of the developing cannabis industry, and clear move for social change in drug and law enforcement policy. There are many who see their meal ticket threatened and are working feverishly to preserve some level of status quo so they can keep making criminals and drug addicts out of your average weedhead. These days are ending and they know it as much as anyone.

We like weed. We are good people. This is bullshit. The sky is not falling, asshole. Let’s wrap this shit up and legalize weed. Then we can talk about all these tanks and other petty drug crimes that we have created a war on our neighbors over.

The time is now. Let’s knock off the bullshit already.

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RE-UNITED and it feels so good?


I have been hearing the “let’s come together” and “divided we fall” rhetoric around the movement in wake of the election. The calls to put our differences behind us clearly does not take into respect those differences, nor does it respect those who were attacked and slandered by a select few in this movement. Everyone saying “let bygones be bygones” clearly were not called “evil, money-hungry, youth hating, people that were out to steal access from patients and enslave growers.” I was. Many of my colleagues were. People chose to twist and turn the dialogue to not just convince people to vote against their interest, but to think that I was an evil dick that was out to get them. So forgive me if I am just not feeling the “kumbyah” shit right now…..

And I am united. I am united with those who showed up and worked respectfully to try and make a difference. I have never felt more united with the people that joined me in a quest to take the next logical step towards cannabis freedom. I was lucky enough to meet many good people in the journey towards 19. I have no need, time or energy to mend fences with the fringe that demeaned our efforts and demonized our personas to advance their own cause. Nor should they want to unite with me. It would be a falsified half-hearted unified front at best, so why bother?

But real talk- I can say that there has been a strong and active coalition of people across the country that I consider to be a strong and vocal force to run with on the next big thing. For that I am excited. Why would we want to unite with cowards and fear mongers? Because we all smoke pot? No thanks. Those kids are lost and will never be a part of my army of cannabis warriors.

What I will do is try to build a broader coalition and do a better job of educating those who still fear cannabis legalization. I will work to convince others to get on board, instead of trying to convince a group of crazy people that Monsanto is not taking their cannabis. We wasted hours of time on addressing these morons and it hampered our message. It put us on the defensive in our own community over an effort to make cannabis lawful. These same hurt feelings and tin-foil hat conspiracies will be present no matter what makes the ballot. And I am sure some of the same people will be on board to sink ANY effort, so why would I want to reach across the aisle and work with those cats. No thanks.

Those people do not even deserve a seat at the table. The best thing we can do is hope that they lose their voice between now and then. Hope that people quit buying things from CannaCare so that they do not have money to run scare ads in every magazine. Hope that publications will quit thinking D-flies is some sort of “stoner authority” and giving her a voice. Hope that the collectives that opposed with lies because they fear competition will be closed by ironically- competition. We hope that if we are lucky enough to see a next time, that these people will no longer be relevant. 2 years is a long time. 30 years is a longer time.

There is no excuse for the actions of these few. Let me be clear. I AM NOT MAD AT THOSE WHO VOTED NO. I will never understand it, but that is clearly their choice. I AM MAD AT THOSE WHO USED LIES AND DECEIT TO UNDERMINE THE EFFORT AND DEMONIZED PEOPLE LIKE ME. There will be no “getting over it” or “coming together” after the shit you said about me, my colleagues, and the effort that was made. So as Steve Cooley seems to be winning the race and “safe access” is at the very least at a point of concern, and at the worst is under attack, do not forget who decided to the status quo was a good thing. Do not forget those who used their voice to keep you a criminal. Do not forget those that lied and mislead their way to 15-minutes of fame. Do not forget the cowards that thought first about their income and second about morality and justice. Do not forget that these people made it so that you have to get that $150 doctor permission slip to use a safe plant. Do not forget when your 1/8 cost $50-$60 that it could have been $25-30. Just don’t forget what could have been because it is romantic to “be the bigger person” and “work together.” No it isn’t.

If you forget the past, then do not be surprised when that knife is in your back again. You knew they were a snake when you brought them home….

Supporters and Champions Info Page

Some have questioned the need for a boycott of those who sabotaged the effort, and have called for a more positive approach. So we will begin the info page on those who Supported and Championed the Yes on 19 cause. So let us know who you saw beating the streets to make cannabis legal. Let us thank these supporters and champions.

The BIG THANK YOU PAGE!

  • Steve Deangelo (I put you first because I know you love that shit)- Harborside
  • Richard Lee- Oaksterdam
  • Jeff Jones- Patient ID
  • Chris Conrad- Expert Witness
  • Mikki Norris- West Coast Leaf
  • Debby Goldsberry- BPG
  • The Board of Berkeley Patient’s Group
  • Ed Rosenthal- Author/Activist
  • Valerie Corral- WAMM
  • Addison and Jessica Demoura
  • Dave Lampach- Steep Hill
  • DJ WiiD- Wilson Linker
  • Lenny Swerdlow
  • Paul Armentano- Author of Marijuana is Safer
  • Russ Belville- NORML
  • David Pullman- Attorney/Activist
  • George Soros (A million)
  • George Zimmer- Men’s Wearhouse
  • Peter Lewis- Progressive Insurance
  • Ethan Nadelman- DPA
  • Don Wirtshafter- Common Sense
  • Stephen Gutwillig- DPA
  • Dale Sky Jones- Campaign coordination
  • James Anthony- Lawyer
  • Marc Emery- Political prisoner (Google Free Marc!)
  • Jodie Emery- Cannabis Culture
  • Vivian McPeak
  • Seattle Hempfest Crew
  • Gean Pool
  • Matt Fennel
  • Ryan Thompson
  • Chris Bennett
  • Dana Larson
  • Eddy Lepp- Freed Eddy!
  • Robert Platshorn- Black Tuna Diaries
  • Norm Stamper- LEAP
  • Former SJ Police Chief Joseph Macnamera- Campaign help
  • Nathanael Bradley- LEAP
  • Dan Rush- Union leader
  • Lynette Shaw- Marin Alliance
  • Judge James Gray
  • Dr. Leonard Krivitsky
  • Dr.Lester Grinspoon
  • Dr. Frank Lucido
  • J. David Nick
  • Todd McCormick- Hempire Media
  • Steve Elliot- Toke of the Town
  • Casper Leitch- Time4Hemp
  • Tim Martin- John Doe Radio Show
  • Carl T. Raff
  • Mike Boutin-
  • Bliss Edibles- San Francisco
  • Juli Indica
  • Former NM Governor Gary Johnson
  • Student for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
  • Jon Perri- SSDP
  • Stacia Cosner, SSDP
  • MPP
  • Moms for Marijuana
  • Grass Roots Medical Cannabis Dispensary 1077 Post Street San Francisco
  • Pebbles Trippet and Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board
  • The Humboldt Growers Association
  • Subcool- TGA Seeds
  • Emerald Triangle News
  • NORML
  • ASA (for honesty)
  • Dale G.- CANORML.org
  • Chris Goldstein, PhillyNORML
  • Sabrina Fendrick, NORML
  • Diane Renee’ Fornbacher of NJ NORML
  • Eric X. Altieri, NORML
  • Allen St. Pierre, NORML
  • Micah Diagle
  • Troy Dayton
  • Greta Gaines
  • Angel Raich- ARCH
  • Amanda Rein
  • Cheryl Aichelle
  • Holy Hemptress
  • John Troll
  • Doc Herbalist- MJdispensaries.com
  • Jo’el Medicine Man Garcia
  • Noah Kerwin
  • Jennifer Alexander
  • Michael Moore aka Papa Hemp
  • Joshua Potter
  • RX PO http://www.milehighmedicalcannabis.com/
  • PLANT-the-LAND Hemp Apparel
  • Glenn Macbeth
  • Cheyanne Weldon
  • Charlie Brent
  • Ngaio Bealum- WCC
  • Sonny Kumar- El Camino Wellness
  • Dion Markgraaff and NUG Magazine!
  • Leo Laurence J.D. (LEAP)
  • Yes on 19 San Diego-Rachel, Ben, Chef Truk, Aaron Evans (The Green Brothers), Dana (Forbidden Leaf)
  • Shannon Lamoureux
  • Richard Rawlings
  • Wayward Bill Chengelis
  • Sheree Krider
  • US Marijuana Party
  • McKenna Stephens
  • Victoria White
  • UCSD & SDSU chapters of SSDP
  • Cheba Hut
  • San Diego CityBeat
  • Henry Hemp
  • Danny Danko- HT
  • Evan Nison
  • Kyle Kushman
  • Shiloh Mass
  • The Family of Peter Tosh
  • The Individuals
  • Pony Boy of Los Marijuanos
  • Snoop Dogg
  • B-Real and Cypress Hill
  • Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • Melissa Ethridge
  • Daddy X- Kottonmouth Kings
  • Bill Maher
  • Danny DeVito
  • Zach Galifianakis
  • Tommy Chong
  • George Lopez
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Danny Glover
  • Susan Sarandon
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • CA NAACP
  • California Young Democrats
  • Republican Liberty Caucus
  • California Council of Churches
  • Oakland City Council
  • Humboldt Count Board of Supervisors
  • All the people around the country who did phone banking for Prop 19
  • You
  • Mickey Martin- T-Comp Consulting

I am missing a bunch. Help me out.

STEVE BLOOM on HUFFPO- "They don't know how to pay taxes…"

Why Northern California’s Pot Growers Said No to Prop 19

Steve Bloom- CelebStoner.com

Deep in the lush mountains and valleys of California’s Emerald Triangle, marijuana farmers have been making a decent living, albeit illegal, off the land for at least four generations. The medical cannabis boom, which began in 1996 with the passage of Prop 215, made them even richer. So when it came time to consider a law that would tax and regulate their skunk-scented crops, the growers of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties decided it just wasn’t right for them.

“They’re country people,” says Bret Bogue, who owns Apothecary Genetics, a marijuana breeding and seed company. “They don’t know how to pay taxes.”

The denizens of the Emerald Triangle spoke loud and clear on Tuesday when they voted against Prop 19 by a 55-45 margin. The measure would have legalized marijuana for commercial sales, regulating what is currently an untaxed black market. Prop 19 lost statewide 54-46, with only 11 of the state’s 58 counties backing it.

Bogue contends that Prop 19 “would have destroyed Northern California. It would have suffered tremendously.”

One of the stipulations of Prop 19 was that every Californian would’ve been able to cultivate a 5×5-foot garden-room for about 10 fully grown plants. “Mom and pop operations cannot live on a 5×5,” Bogue says. “They’re the unsung people in the trenches who get the medicine to the people. The reward is worth the risk. They saw the reward totally diminishing to the point that they would not even exist.”

Kyle Kushman doesn’t see it that way. He’s a legal medical grower who lives in Mendocino County and plays by the rules, which allows for up to 99 plants, indoors or outdoors. “There are different types of growers,” explains Kushman, who’s pioneered a technique he calls Veganics. “You have the outdoor generational farmers in Humboldt and Trinity. You have illegal indoor growers. And you have growers like me who are trying to follow the law.”

A pot grower at heart, Kushman left his lofty position as High Times cultivation reporter in 2005 and moved to Willets, where he’s been breeding luscious strains named Strawberry Cough and Blackberry Kushman ever since. Kushman’s carved out a piece of the pie for himself, without getting greedy.

“I’m heartbroken and deflated,” he says about Prop 19’s failure. “The people here are so small-minded. They’re afraid of change. I have the right to grow a 10×10 for myself. They thought Prop 19 would take that away.”

To the contrary, Prop 19 would not have changed any of the existing laws that protect medical-cannabis cultivators. “I have the right to grow for 40 people,” Kushman adds. “That wasn’t going to change. It was a small progression. All of that fear prevented these people from thinking into the future. They just don’t get it.”

Bogue blames Prop 19 proponents for not consulting the NoCal growers before writing the initiative. “They needed to include the backbone,” he says. “They voted ‘no’ because they didn’t take the people into consideration. It starts from the ground up. You have to be able to walk in their shoes.”

Among the pot farmers’ concerns were being forced out of business by mega-grow operations (Oakland had already licensed four and Berkeley voters approved six more on Election Day) and the declining wholesale price of marijuana, which has dropped from $4,000 per pound to $1,500 over the last decade.

“If they had dealt with Northern California,” Bogue insists, “Prop 19 would’ve passed.”

Prop 19 proponent Chris Conrad begs to differ.

“If growers are against legalization, they can’t be part of the legalization process and now it’s up to them to show good faith support or be left out of the process,” says Conrad, who publishes West Coast Leaf. “That’s just political reality. The growers basically shot themselves in the foot. Prop 19 offered them a legal customer base, a statewide regulatory framework and a local voice to protect their interests. The next campaign is more likely to pitch a more restrictive approach to bring more conservative voters like Asians and housewives, who want heavy-handed controls, and will consider whether growers deserve any consideration at all. Those folks are unreliable at best, traitors to the cause at worst, and possibly a useful target to pit public opinion against as a foil for a winning campaign without a legal cultivation component.

“The growers lost a lot of potential influence on the process by showing a lack of political savvy,” Conrad continues. “They’ll possibly be grouped in with the narcs as being fundamentally opposed to legalization and not worth courting as an ally. So, they will need to come to the table with some proposals on how they would create a legal market for cannabis while protecting their interests, or they will be left out of the next round of decisions.”

Though Conrad claims that since the Emerald Triangle cast just 64,000 votes out of nearly 7.5 million statewide (3.4 million voted for Prop 19) and that “the problem is that other segments of the population are not on board,” Prop 19 organizers should listen to Bogue and others who felt disenfranchised.

With plans already being drawn up for another tax & regulate initiative for 2012, Bogue says he doesn’t want to “bash Richard Lee,” the Oaksterdam University magnate who bankrolled Prop 19. “I just want him to talk to the people. He didn’t talk to them at all.”

Then, and perhaps only then, will marijuana legalization in California stand a chance of becoming a reality.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-bloom/why-northern-californias-_b_779415.html

So Sad: Statement from Yes on 19 campaign…

OAKLAND, CA — In response to the voting results on Proposition 19, the California ballot measure to control and tax marijuana, Prop. 19 proponent Richard Lee released the following statement:

“The fact that millions of Californians voted to legalize marijuana is a tremendous victory. We have broken the glass ceiling. Prop. 19 has changed the terms of the debate. And that was a major strategic goal.

“Over the course of the last year, it has become clear that the legalization of marijuana is no longer a question of if but a question ofwhen. Because of this campaign, millions now understand it’s time to develop an exit strategy for the failed war on marijuana. Across the state our opponents, including many newspaper editorial boards that failed to properly understand Prop. 19, repeatedly stated that their quibbles were not with legalization in general. When we come back with a new initiative in 2012, there will be a seat at the table for all of these new stakeholders. And we will be coming back, stronger than ever.

“With limited resources this time around we were able to build an enormously powerful coalition of cops and moms, law professors and civil rights leaders, liberals and libertarians, conservatives and unions; all hungry for change. For the first time we were able to unite in favor of legalization. Groups like the National Black Police Association, the National Latino Officers Association, the California Council of Churches IMAPCT, California NAACP, SEIU of California, United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, members of the U.S. Congress, local Democratic party committees, state legislators and many, many individual law enforcers, faith leaders, civil rights activists, students, professors of law and business leaders said it’s time for a new beginning. This coalition will only continue to grow in size and strength as we prepare for 2012.

“Even the establishment was divided. While Senator Dianne Feinstein lent her name to the opposition, others, realizing that legalization is on its way, got in front of the message. When Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB 1449, the bill reducing marijuana offenses to an infraction, a few weeks ago, it was a clear concession to the power of the legalization movement and a recognition of the obvious failure of our marijuana laws. This singular change in law, brought about by the momentum of our campaign, will protect tens of thousands of Californians from arrest each and every year. It will save California taxpayers money, and it will make our streets safer. But it’s only a start, and there’s much more work to be done.