What to do when you are friends with snakes…

snake2

It happens to the best of us. One minute you are just kicking it with this seemingly cool person, and the next minute you realize they are really a snake. It is a tough pill to swallow.

First there is a sense of disbelief. You can’t believe your one time friend could actually be a down and dirty low-life snake in the grass. It can’t be, can it? Could this person, or group of people, who you trusted and admired sold you out for some financial compensation and fancy trinkets? Have you been lied to this whole time? Do ethics and morality mean nothing?

Do not worry. We have all been there. It is difficult to admit that we were wrong about people and supposed goodwill organizations. We often deny the truth because we do not want to have to admit that we were so incredibly wrong; but generally in the end we have to come to grips with the fact that our one time friends are snakes.

Like with any dangerous and poisonous snake working to destroy everything that is right and just, the best solution is to cut the head off.

It might sound harsh and be difficult to imagine, as you have probably grown sorta fond over your snake friend over time. But a snake is a snake, and will do what snakes do. Snakes do not care about you, and in fact prey upon your seeming affection for them.

There is the parable of the old woman and the snake to reflect upon:

An old woman was walking down the road when she saw a gang of thugs beating a poisonous snake.  She rescued the snake and carried it back to her home, where she nursed it back to health.  They became friends and lived together for many months.  One day they were going into town, and the old woman picked him up and the snake bit her.  Repeatedly.  “O God,” she screamed, “I am dying!  Why?  I was your friend.  I saved your life!  I trusted you!  Why did you bite me?”

The snake looked up at her and said, “Lady, you knew I was a snake when you first picked me up.”

Do not be naive where snakes are concerned. There is no room for error. You cannot afford to risk everything you have worked for to foster some perceived affection for a snake. We have come too far to allow a bunch of snakes to wander in and destroy the fabric of this community.

Make no mistake… divide and conquer is happening. Big money and wannabe big shots are infiltrating every sector of this community and exploiting as many as they can to help them in their snake missions.

Do not be fooled. Your gut is right.

Yes… it is true. That person has lost all integrity and joined the legion of snakes working to control and manipulate the market through fraud and corruption. they will try to ease your fears and tell you that this is “just business.” It is anything but. It is fraud. It is unsavory business practice. It is evil. Do not be a sucker.

Demand ethics and morality in every person you deal with. There are many great people woven into the fabric of this community that will stand with you. The snakes are not your friends. They never were and they never will be.

They are snakes.

The human experience is full of disappointment, and none are so difficult as the feelings of betrayal and mistrust. I am sorry this is happening to you, but understand that it is better for you to find out now before the snakes could do their damage.

Now chop their head off…

You are all criminals. Welcome to the new California. SB 1262 must die.

oldwoman.crime.1

California is the new black…

It is a sad day in cannabis history when groups and organizations charged to protect patients and providers sell us down the river; but that is exactly what has been happening in Sacramento over the past few months. Americans for Safe Access, in conjunction with other supposed cannabis reform groups, lobbyists, and powerful union muscle, have been negotiating away cannabis freedom in the California capitol for months working on a bill called SB 1262 that will destroy the current cannabis industry and make criminals out of damn near everyone who doesn’t have a few hundred thousand dollars laying around to comply. It is true. everything you know and love about the California cannabis scene is about to be uprooted and replaced by a bill that will ensure only the big money backers have a seat at the table.

Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself. Here is the current working mock up with the proposed amendments.

SB1262.mockup.ALL_.FINAL2_.062414

And here is Americans for Safe Access Executive director Steph Sherer’s ringing endorsement and admission of their undying support for this load of shit here:

ASA recognized the potential in SB 1262 early in the process. We worked with the Sen. Correa and other sponsors to significantly improve the bill, and ASA was the first in the medical cannabis field to endorse it. SB 1262 is a milestone in the medical cannabis debate in the state legislature. This is the first time that the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities have not opposed medical cannabis regulations. Having these two powerful lobby organizations standing beside patients and behind a regulatory bill is unprecedented. ASA regards this broad and influential coalition as a key strength of SB 1262, and we call on advocates and lawmakers to join us in supporting SB 1262.

To put it in simple terms, the reason you see ASA, UFCW, and other groups supporting this piece of shit is because they have LOST THE BATTLE. After years of having their collective asses handed to them in the California legislature by real lobbyists for the CA Police Chiefs Association and the California League of Cities, they have conceded the game. You don’t think ASA lead man Don Duncan sold his interests in his dispensary group to Aundre Speciale and Montel’s big business dispensary group and moved to Sacramento for nothing do you?

In doing so, they have literally conceded the rights and current recognized freedoms of every medical cannabis patient in California. If you don’t believe me, let’s go over the mock up in detail and show you how….

This proposed bill is an overwhelming disappointment in many ways and should be either edited greatly, or denied completely. It provides a very loose and dangerous framework for an industry that has organically developed over time do to inaction on the part of the California Legislature. To try and rewind history is not a fair or ethical way to implement sound regulations that provide for public safety and allow for reasonable access to cannabis.

In the declarations section it sums it up in the phrase “minimum statewide standards.” What is necessary is a comprehensive statewide licensing program that allows for the many small batch producers to exist who currently are invested as providers in the current system. The way the regulations are set forth in SB-1262 will be ripe for corruption at the local level, and force small businesses out of the industry to appease the lobbying interests of the few. It makes no sense to create a bill that will make criminals out of the current activities of tens of thousands of Californians.

The biggest issue this program will face is on the production side. The bill requires that all cultivation centers register with the program by January 1, 2015 and prove they were lawfully cultivating through support of local authorities. There are ZERO licenses for the production and manufacturing of cannabis and related products ANYWHERE in California. This means virtually none of the current providers will be eligible, and dispensaries will have no supply to meet a well-established demand. All this will do is create more black market issues, as those who are providing medicine will look for alternative methods of distribution. It takes many months for local agencies to create ordinances for medical cannabis related businesses, as has been evident in nearly every licensing process in cities all over the state. It is not reasonable to expect growers and people who make products to have local support by January 1, when most operate in a fairly clandestine manner due to a lack of licensing and protection for these types of businesses. This is a direct result of no statewide direction or framework for almost 18 years of the existence of the medical cannabis program in California.

In addition, the language that attempts to severely limit who qualifies for the program is baseless, and violates key principles of the doctor patient relationship. There is very little real harm that opposition can show to justify this need for such invasive principles of patient rights where cannabis is concerned, when we allow doctors to prescribe much more dangerous medicines with lees intrusion.

Below are detailed areas I see that need to be addressed in order to make this bill even workable, though I would assume scrap it in its entirety in current form:

2525.2- the definition of “Attending Physician” limits the patient doctor relationship and does not serve the interest of the medical profession, or the patients it serves. For example, a person using cannabis for issues recommended by a Psychiatrist would not need a physical examination.

18100 (d) and (e)- The definition for dispensary is too loose. It should include the term “retail.” As it is currently determined even a person “providing” a hit of a joint to a patient is considered a dispensary

18100 (f)- under “licensed processing facility” it seems to imply that a processing facility can distribute directly “to a patient with a medical marijuana recommendation” which would technically make it a dispensary too.

18101 (a)- It seems worrisome to have one executive officer appointed by the governor vs. a committee of people. Too much power makes the position ripe for corruption.

18101.1.-  making state authority subject to local control is backwards, and will create many litigation issues between cities who have established programs that make them revenue as is, and a program that is fairly implemented at the state level.

18101.1 (a)- establishing “minimum” standards falls short of what is necessary by the state on this program. In 1996, Californians voted for Prop 215, which included “To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.” The way this program is being set up will neither be safe, due to its lack of real authority and vision at the state level and the willingness to allow smaller corruptible local forces to set the rules, nor affordable, due to it cumbersome cost structure and intolerance of small batch producers.

18101.1 (d)- once again, making the entire program “subject to local ordinances” will prove to be the downfall of the medical cannabis program envisioned in SB 1262

18101.1 (l)- redundant.

18101.2 (a)- The word “provide” is EXTEMELY PROBLEMATIC here, as the way it is worded, “a person shall not sell or provide marijuana other than at a licensed dispensing facility” literally makes sharing your medicine with a fellow patient a crime. One of the healing properties of cannabis is also the psycho-social therapy of building a community and support network. It is common for patients to share cannabis medicines with one another, and it makes no sense to outlaw any transfer of medicine between qualified patients, thus creating criminal behaviors unintended by these regulations.

18101.2 (b)- The licensed cultivation site will be problematic upon start up and will leave most of the established industry without any product to dispense until local ordinances and authorities can create new programs for those. There are no licensed production facilities in the state to this date in any local jurisdiction anywhere.

18101.2 (c)- The same goes for “licensed processing facilities.” It is unclear if any jurisdiction will even authorize this at this point.

18101.2 (e)- The requirement of a “certified testing facility” is a neat idea, but there are none licensed at the state level for cannabis, and standards and processes have not been developed. The bill charges for those standards to be developed, but until they are, it leaves a donut hole in which places will be able to get certified.

18101.2 (f) (8)(A)- “moral turpitude” should be defined here.

18101.2 (f) (11)- This is an area that needs MUCH MORE definition. It is unclear what “drug trafficking” means in this context. Is a person caught with a few ounces in college considered a drug trafficker? It says the Bureau “MAY” deny a license based on past criminal conviction if the crime was substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business…” In this context, where does that leave a person who was arrested for cultivating or producing cannabis? Technically it is what the license is being given for, so wouldn’t that make the person potentially an expert that was caught in a time of unclear and unjust laws, which are now the actual business being licensed?

18101.2 (h)- THIS IS A BIG ONE. Why would they limit the ability of a company that dispenses or processes medicine to provide a more closed-loop system by cultivating their own medicine? Why would they force a company that is concerned with processing different types of medicine be beholden to outside cultivators who may not produce the type of medicine in the correct conditions that are needed for a certain product? It also limits supply greatly, and will result in a homogenized market of licensed production medicine for patients to use, thus resulting in them going elsewhere (black market) for medicines that used to be readily available.

18101.3- January 1, 2015 will be way too fast for any cultivation or production provisional licenses, thus shutting down the entire program.

18101.3 (a)(1)- “limited immunity under local law” should be spelled out and referencing Measure D is unnecessary and reeks of union and ASA corruption charges to me.

18101.3 (2)- the part about “during that six month prior to January 1, 2015 the applicant was regularly cultivating or distributing medical marijuana collectively or cooperatively in full compliance…” is a deal breaker and will result in a nightmare of law enforcement and clashes with local city government in absence of a robust cultivation licensing system with the state.

18101.3 (b)- $8,000 is a lot per applicant. I would like to see how the “actual cost” is determined from processing some paperwork, as there are no real life state inspections listed here anywhere. The limited testing done by the bureau would never reach these numbers over a year.

18101.35 (a)- It is unclear if the program is actually valid during the “provisional” or “standard” licensing process. When is it that dispensaries can only get medicine from licensed cultivators and processors? Jan. 1, 2015 or July 1, 2016? If the first, it is too soon, and if it is the latter, then it the provisional licenses seem irrelevant.

18102(b)- Why did they remove “through the cultivation.” It makes no sense to keep all licensing separate. What other industry requires that?

18106(a)(5)- The development and implementation of standards will take a while and will be challenged in litigation for sure.

18106(c)(7)- “tend to create a law enforcement problem” is vague and too open for interpretation. The entire process for determining high crime areas is subject to major scrutiny, and also may conflict with most local zoning ordinances, as they have zoned most to the higher crime areas.

18108.8- Does this say that testing can only be done by processing or cultivation licensees and not dispensaries?

18113(a)- This passage cements that a person sharing cannabis with another patient is indeed a criminal now

18113(b)- In what other field re caregivers limited to 5? Hospice? No…

11658(e)- Representative Sample is convoluted. Is it each batch or each shipment? And this would insinuate testing at the dispensary level, which was not allowed previously

111662- “unadulterated food product” is not correct. It should be treated as a medicinal food or supplement.

111662(a)- many drug products require refrigeration. It is unclear what problem this tries to solve, and certainly limits a patient’s choice in what might work for them. If it is not required to be refrigerated, can it anyway?

111662(d)- What is a single serving size? Every patient is relatively different in consumption needs. Each product is different in how they affect a patient. This is very slippery language that should either be defined clearly, or dealt with differently

111662(e)- “maximum potency standards” is defined by who? What scientific studies will back up these claims? Hot button topic and ripe for litigation I am sure.

111662(f)(1)- “attractive to children” needs to be defined. What does that mean exactly? What is not attractive to children?

111662(g)- Photos of any kind? Pictures of any food, even in a logo?

111662(h)- the Snickerdoodle reference is actually the craziest part of this, as Snickerdoodles are an actual specific recipe of cookie that contain cream of tar tar in addition to cinnamon. Silly deal here.

Brownie-Mary

Feel free to print out the mock up version and reference the sections for more clarity on what I see as major problems with this bill.

So how did we get here? Why would a group like ASA who has claimed to have the interest of patients and providers at the core of their mission, absolutely sell us all out for this bullshit bill? The answer is obvious…. Money.

To be clear, ASA shitcanned and sabotaged a much more reasonable effort put up by Tom Ammiano called AB1894 because they did not want the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to write and enforce regulations for commercial medical cannabis activity statewide.

Why? Because that obviously pushes the industry rapidly in the direction of adult use legalization, and that is terrible for the bottom line of an organization that gains most of their revenue selling the world a bag of medical bullshit. It is not that there is not a true and moral mission for medical cannabis. It is that a lot of the industry in its current form does not reflect the true medical aspects of our society. ASA wants their cake and they would like to eat it too. They have spent years taking money from patients and dispensaries to supposedly defend their rights, but a couple years back it seems their major funding sources changed and they have been working to limit access…not improve it. They should change their name to Americans for Less Access because that is exactly what they have been fighting for. Well…not fighting. Bending over and making major concessions to bolster their political connections is more like it.

The entire deal reeks of fraud and corruption. It was not surprising to hear that Senator Leland Yee was arrested on corruption charges from an investigation put forth by the FBI where Lee took money to create more cumbersome regulations that benefited the people he was taking the money from. Those folks just happened to be undercover FBI agents. Here is an exerpt to get a better idea:

An undercover FBI agent posing as a medical marijuana supplier met with state Sen. Leland Yee in Sacramento in June and, according to the FBI’s transcript of a secret tape recording, said he was willing to make campaign contributions in exchange for support of legislation.

When the purported medical marijuana supplier offered to contribute $10,000 to $15,000 to Yee’s secretary of state campaign in May 2013 and sought help with legislation, Yee told a government informant, according to the FBI affidavit, that he played by the rules and couldn’t take money for himself. But he said he would be willing to help those who helped him get elected – a “long-term investment,” as he described it to an aide.

Believe that Yee is not alone and believe that there ARE big money interest manipulating this game from inside and out. While it is illegal for public officials to take this kind of money, it is certainly not illegal for organizations like ASA to take it to do the bidding of the few. They began this shit in 2012 at least, working to undermine any legalization initiative put forth by threatening to put their own medical initiative on the ballot, swearing they had the money to do it, but producing nothing in the end but running the clock out on all other efforts.

They have also worked to undermine Ammiano’s efforts at all costs because they know that the ABC controlling cannabis will remove it from their health bubble and advance the cause of adult use legalization for all, a mission they have continued to not support and side step for years. Here are some pieces I wrote about it about a year ago called Regulate Cali medical Weed like Booze, Learning When to Say Yes, and Out of the Frying Pan. I even called the “much stricter bill coming out of the senate.” you are welcome. Some day you assholes will start listening to me on this stuff.

But make no doubt about it…. ASA is not your friend and neither are their coalition of the willing to fuck you over to save themselves. I am ultimately disappointed to see groups like ASA supporting and promoting a bill that literally makes everyone in California besides a select few criminals again.

I am not even sure where the real problem is? What are we trying to fix here? It would seem that every day tens of thousands of Californians have access to safe and effective medicines in clean and professional environments. If anything, the issue is not enough access in areas that continue to fight it, and SB 1262 cements their rights to keep doing that.

The biggest issue is that this bill requires everyone who produces cannabis, growing or products, must be licensed by the end of the year and in order to do so you must have support from your local city or county. Since there are ZERO production licenses or regulatory models anywhere in the state it will create chaos and a scenario so ripe for corruption that I would say no less than a dozen public officials are brought up on racketeering and pay-to-play charges before it is said and done. Every grower with a few hundred grand buried in the hills will be bribing their local city council person and county supervisor to allow them to continue to exist. This should be a lot of fun to watch unfold.

So what can we do about it? You can start by raising hell with your state legislators.

To make it easy, we will just use ASA’s fancy web portal to contact them directly. Just click HERE to get directed there and follow the easy instructions below. Direct link: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/182/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=13363)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Enter your zip code and address
  2. Call the people who are listed as your representative
  3. Erase the subject line of the message and replace with VOTE NO ON SB 1262
  4. Erase the”your letter” are and replace with something like the following: “I am writing to ask you to oppose bill SB 1262, which will make criminals out of nearly every medical cannabis patient and provider in California. This ill-devised plan does nothing to increase public safety and creates a program that is ripe for political corruption at the local level. It is a pay-to-play devised program that only benefits the wealthy and well-connected and tramples the rights of every patient in the State. A vote in favor of this effort will be a vote for increased criminal actions against qualified patients and providers, and will increase law enforcement budgets across the state by adding further confusion and unnecessary restrictions to a program that has struggled since its inception. While there is a need for some regulatory control by the State of California, this effort does not do that, giving most power to local authorities and disregarding the state’s responsibility to provide a program for safe and affordable access as voted on by the people of California in 1996 when the  Compassionate Use Act passed. Thank you for your time and consideration on this important matter. I would appreciate your vote denying passage of this severely flawed legislative effort.”
  5. Fill out your personal information and click “send this message”

It may be too little too late at this point, as SB 1262 seems to be sailing towards passage at this point. This latest version will be snuck through as amendments and ratified within days, so it is imperative that you act now. I am completely baffled at the people who support this effort and will let each and everyone of them know that they are now officially on my shit list. Welcome to the show. You will notice not many have the courage to admit that they are a part of this shit show, but the list is deep. More to come on each and every one of the snakes who have helped get this piece of shit bill this far.

It is gonna be a fun summer. Selah.

For the love of the game…

mickey.pressconference.1

I like to say that cannabis activism is a lot like pissing yourself in a dark pair of pants…..No one really notices but it gives you a nice warm feeling.

I often wonder why I do this every day…Why I wake up constantly in a battle to ensure cannabis legalization happens, and that it happens ethically and morally. It is exhausting, and trying. If it is not some out of line prohibitionist loser drug warrior I am taking to task, it is some shady asshole who wants to take advantage of this emerging industry and shit on the hard work of those who have been here making this thing happen for years.

A lot of issues come across my desk, as I have somehow taken on the role of industry watchdog. Not a day goes by without getting an email or FB message letting me know about people who are gaming the system and/or defrauding folks. It is pretty depressing actually. In order to process and deal with all of this I write. I try to lay out issues we face in plain and understandable conversational pieces that force our community to have a difficult conversation.

I do not do this for money. If you notice, this site has no advertising on it. That is by design. I am not beholden to anyone and am free to say what I want about whoever I want without fear of losing revenue or support. I built this site myself to serve as an informational resource where people could come and take in my perspectives to learn more about the movement for cannabis legalization, and the players that make up the cannabis landscape. We are all adults here, so I like to think that my writings, while sometimes harsh, create the space needed to have a conversation about issues of concern.

Not all is fun and games either. I have been attacked and threatened on several occasions for my writings.

There was the time when all four of my tires were slashed on my car. I have had tracking devices put on my vehicle and have been threatened by people who called me and say shit like “I know where you live. Take down the Bullshitter of the Week or else.”

Once when leaving a dispensary in Sacramento a guy walked up to me and pepper sprayed me in my vehicle point blank, not saying a word. I have had my wife and kids followed and have had threatening letters sent from Mexico that imply their safety was at risk if I did not stay off of the internet.

I get emails on the regular from those pissed off about what I have written, and I am physically threatened on Facebook by assholes at least once a week. I have had people post my wife’s information online in an effort to get me to stop making memes about them, even though she does not smoke weed or is a part of this movement in any way.

So YEAH. It is like that.

So why do I do it? Why do I continue to look these threats in the eye and continue to write the truth, as I see it, regardless of the consequences?

Why? For the love of the game, of course.

I love weed; and even more so, I hate injustice. I am not a person to sit by and just let things be for fear of confrontation. I relish confrontation and think that often volatility is necessary to stir up complacency and stagnant behavior. For me, the game is to get weed legal without being overrun by fraud and corruption in the process.

I know….It is a lot to ask in today’s world where corporations make the rules, and politicians, law enforcement, and those who are in positions of leadership within the cannabis community are as corrupted as they come.

But I will continue to fight for what is right and just. I will never be okay with letting people use our good name to swindle people out of investments and money. I will never be okay with those who blatantly lie and defraud people to get ahead because they think that the quasi-legal status of weed is ripe ground for their scandalous activities.

I will at least be here to rise up and meet them and shine some light on their bullshit. I am not a coward who will sit back and let fools run amok without calling bullshit.

Do not get me wrong. I am scared. My wife is scared.

We live a different kind of life as a result of threats and my willingness to speak truth to power. But I would rather die standing up for what I believe, than to pass away an old man wishing I would have had the courage to stand up and do something. To me this is about more than just weed. It is about what is right and what is wrong. It is about defending our position and ensuring that the playing field is level.

For me the game is bigger than us all. Bigger than any one person or company. It is bigger than this law or that regulation. It is bigger than the hucksters and charlatans who have made their home on the Board of Directors of this organization or that group. It is bigger than me by a longshot.

The game is still just about a plant and some freedom; and I love the game more than life itself.

Game on, bitches. Game on.

Warrior.LOGO

It is not me. It is YOU.

notme.you

If prohibition isn’t completely over yet, don’t blame me. It is not me. It is YOU.

I like to think I can end prohibition by myself if I work hard enough, but I cannot. I have tried. I have spent more hours working on it than I like to admit, and we still see the slow wheels of progress moving. It is happening. Progress continues, but it is not enough. We must do more. All of us have got to get moving if we really want this to end now.

This is not meant to disparage others, and make it seem like I am doing the work and others are not. Far from it. There are actually a lot of people giving their hard work and energy to the cause, and I am deeply grateful for them.

But there is also a contingency of folks who are just standing around waiting for everyone else to do the work for them, and who want to call themselves an “activist” with little or no real action to show for it. YOU know who YOU are. YOU are the loser who doesn’t have the time or money to give to the cause when it is needed, but shows up for all of the victory parades and parties like clockwork. YOU are the asshole who likes to look down his nose at another person’s effort and say how much better they would have done this or that. YOU are the lazy bastard who never writes a letter, calls anyone, or does anything to advance the conversation; but then wants to take all of the credit for those who did actually take the time out of their life to make a difference. And there are plenty of YOU . Swing a dead cat around and you are bound to hit one.

itisyou.1

There will always be the 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of the people in this movement do eighty percent of the work and give eighty percent of the resources. A lot of folks are just along for the magic carpet ride. They have no real intention of getting off of their asses or breaking bread for this cause. They just want to feel like they are a part of the “movement” without doing anything to actually make it move. They are energy suckers for the most part who will eat all of the free food, smoke all of the free weed, and go home to being the same selfish losers they were. It is human nature, but not one that I want to be associated with.

You think we do not see you either. You think you can dip in and out without being detected, and have your weed cake and eat it too. But I see you. I see you working the system for personal gain. I see you hitching your wagon to our star and telling everyone it is your star too. Enjoy the ride for now because you are in for a rude awakening. It is going to be funny when I expose you as a fraud in front of everyone…but just keep hanging on tight. It could get a little bumpy around the turns.

What I really love are the folks who are not just lazy, but financially motivated. Those who play activist on the weekends as a business opportunity for their networking possibilities are the worst. Nothing is sadder than a person motivated by nothing more than money pretending that they really give a shit about weed. It is so plastic and fake at times that I actually want to kick people in their shins for shits and giggles. These wannabe moguls try to camouflage themselves among the group; but they are so obviously just money hungry whores who are looking for acceptance so that they can eat your young when you are not looking. Do not be fooled by the wolves in wook gear. They are the enemy within.

We have a lot of work to do, and there is no question that we are surrounded by folks who have zero intention of doing any of it. These assholes will be there to collect the spoils though. Believe that.

I am not saying I am perfect. Not at all. I have a lot that I could do better. I can be more effective and I will. Speaking of, I need to write letters to POWs. That is one area I am lacking for sure. I am going to get that done this week. I know where my shortcomings are, and I work to overcome them. But it is work…and it is hard work. At times, my wife and kids think I am crazy and obsessed because I focus on this issue so much. Maybe they are right. Maybe I am. But I am compelled to see this through to the end. I am in too deep at this point to ever turn back.

Just know I am watching you. I see you in the midst of the action doing nothing and taking all of the glory. I see you preparing for your victory dance for everyone else’s hard work. I will be there to greet you, and if you are lucky, you might get a pie in the face before this is all said and done. So you have that going for you, which is nice.

Or…..you might want to just do the work and begin to make a difference. It is not as hard as you think. Instead of creeping in for some credit for everyone else’s hard work, how about you do some of your own work for once? We are waiting. We have been waiting a long time. You talk a big game, now do the work.

I will continue to do the work regardless. But the next time you think of messaging me and stating “Why don’t you do this (enter hairbrained activist scheme)?”, why don’t you just do it your damn self and do it well? I assure you I have a plate full of shit to do over here. Feel free to reach in your own pocket and put your money where your mouth is every once in a while too, ya cheap bastard. It is your turn already. Quit thinking we all are going to cover you.

This is all of our responsibility, and I for one am tired of doing the work, only for some other asshiole who has done little to nothing taking the credit for it. I will begin to point you out and make a spectacle of you. I am over it. It is not me. It is YOU.

Do the work, or get out of the way of those who do. Thanks……Management.

2014: Year of the KILLSHOT. How we finally end this thing.

History is a funny thing. It is hard to predict and happens in short rapid bursts.

killshot.1

But make no mistake….history is being made. As the news of Colorado’s first sales of weed to non-medical patient adults over 21 floods the airwaves, the walls of prohibition crumble. America is absorbing this slow-moving revolution. As people watch responsible adults purchase their weed at well-lit and clean facilities, their vision of the criminally shady element that cannabis has been portrayed as melts away. The sky has not fallen; and when the sky continues to not fall after being told by prohibitionists for decades that it would, Americans will wake up to the fact that they have been lied to.

People hate being lied to. That is why this thing ends this year.

doonesbury.1

The toothpaste is WAY out of the tube. There is no putting it back. It is over. We can work out the details of what it all looks like in real time, but the writing is on the wall. It is only a matter of time now before this is all a distant memory, and cannabis is returned to its rightful place in our society as a safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant. But there is still a lot of work to make that happen in a way that is reasonable and fair. There is a lot to overcome in a short period of time, but I think we are up for the task.

Now is the time to go for the killshot. We should be applying every ounce of pressure we have to the neck of these drug warrior assholes. There is no looking back. It is time to storm the castle for the final time. This will end; and it will end very soon if we are effective in our strategic planning.

Do not listen to the voices that say “Be patient. Just wait.” There are reformers within our movement that would have you believe that we must wait and not create real tension. These folks would have you believe that “if we play our cards right we could see the end of prohibition in the next five years.”

Fuck those people. They are in on it.

They are PART OF THE PROBLEM. Nothing worse than a pathetically transparent effort of self-preservation through retarding growth by eroding people’s confidence. I am not trying to be mean, but I hope every person who makes their money “reforming cannabis laws” is out of a job this year. I hope we get the laws reformed, and those folks (like the DEA) can move on to greener pastures. That is what we are all fighting for, right? An END to prohibition?

In the now famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, penned by Martin Luther King Jr. at the height of the civil rights struggle, this is what he said about “waiting.”

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

For years now I too have heard the word “wait.” From lawmakers….from law enforcers…from probation officers….from people opposed to cannabis….and all too often from those who stood beside me.

I can wait no longer. I will not.

I am touched by the response we see happening in the press, as adult use legalization rolls out in Colorado (and soon to be Washington and Uruguay). The world has certainly changed from the days I stood on the street in Santa Cruz, CA gathering signatures for Prop. 215.  The long and tiring journey will eventually come to an end, and if I have anything to do with it that end will come quickly.

So what is the big plan? How do we do it? Well, I am glad you asked…..A strategy of direct action and a demand for accountability at all levels is a good place to begin.

I refer back to Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail when discussing the type of non-violent campaign we must orchestrate to end this thing. He wrote:

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action.

After the determination that the injustices were very real and attempted negotiation, Dr. King began the difficult process of “self-purification” leading to direct action. He stated:

We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?”

The struggle of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s was an amazing effort that taught our communities and the world many valuable lessons. We can learn from the successes (and even some failures) of prior social movements where we can use our influence as citizens to create real change.

One of the most effective tools used were economic boycotts of goods and services that supported the unjust policies of segregation; and those same types of pressures could be used to end prohibition now. We need to identify the groups, organizations, businesses, and individuals who are propping up the drug war, and encourage our networks to not support them, or spend their money with them. If we can drive enough folks to quit doing business with companies that fund prohibition and support mass incarceration policies, we can force them to change their positions this taking pressures off lawmakers to make more reasonable policies for drugs in our society. Shit rolls uphill sometimes.

If we can create a platform of awareness, and a powerful enough social movement that begins to make a real dent, it becomes more difficult for them to continue these charades. We must also attack funding sources for law enforcement that are used to fund this bullshit war. Lawmakers want to talk about “fiscal responsibility?” How about the trillion dollars we have wasted arresting and imprisoning mostly poor people for petty drug crimes?

As citizens, we must organize campaigns at every level of politics to demand a change in how our law enforcement resources are spent. I do not mind having a robust law enforcement presence, but let them work on REAL crimes and REAL public safety issues. Quit pressuring good cops to arrest their neighbors on stupid weed charges to pad the arrest statistics to justify even more spending. Let good cops do a good job; and if they arrest a few million less people for stupid shit every year, but maybe catch an extra drunk driver, or investigate fraud, or track down actual violent criminals, that is great. We do not need less cops. We need the cops to be allowed to actually investigate and do their fucking jobs instead of feeling the need to rummage through some guys car because he smelled some weed.

Economic-based boycotts are something that we can do relatively easy through social media and word of mouth. They do not have to be massive to work either. Small local boycotts can be extremely effective too. Why would we give our money to people who support putting us in jail for our choice to use weed? I still do not eat Kellog’s cereal because they fired Michael Phelp’s after the infamous bong picture. There are a lot of companies that support prohibition because it is good business for them. Look at a company like Victoria’s Secret that uses mass incarceration as a source of cheap labor for their goods. Yup…we can boycott companies that use prison labor, which in turn pressures prison lobbies and privately owned prisons, who in turn have influence with lawmakers, who can end these policies once and for all.

But economic influences are only part of the story. It will also take hard work, sacrifice, and likely some real pain to end this deal. We will also need to accomplish major messaging points through civil disobedience and organized protest. Folks must be willing to put some time and energy into taking the killshot. We must go to the meetings. We must speak up loudly. We must organize WEED-INS. We MUST demand to be heard.  We cannot allow our opposition’s position to go unanswered anywhere….not in the media, at local meetings,  or in a conversation at the grocery store. WE MUST BE VIGILANT…….we like weed and we are good people.

Check out the movement happening in Philly right now as they Smokedown prohibition. These kids are doing it. Taking criminal charges and suffering real consequences for their right to burn and to call for an end to prohibiton. Amazing stuff:

 

It is also an election year and we can influence politics on many levels. We should make every effort to influence local. state, and national politics with our weed message. Be at the town hall meetings to ask the tough questions. Write a letter to the editor about how you do not think this candidate should not be elected because they still believe in mass incarceration and locking up our neighbors for weed. Gallup’s recent poll showed that 58% of our communities (at least) are in our corner. I imagine that number will increase rapidly once the world sees that a legal cannabis market is possible, and that the results will actually be a net positive.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are already discussing the issue:

booker.paul.1

Politicians listen to money, public safety, and opportunities for the communities they serve. Learning to tailor our message to influence politics is key. The cost of prohibition is an absolute failure. It is not hard to see how locking up 5x the people as the rest of the world is expensive and wasteful. As people see that public safety levels are either unaffected, or (gasp) more favorable after legalization takes hold in areas, the myths will be debunked and the real safety cost of prohibition black markets  will be exposed. Sorry…any time you take billions of dollars in illegal drug sales off of the streets and put them into regulated tax paying business structures your community will be safer. The more we can prove positive attributes and opportunities to communities with little risk to public safety, the easier it will be to get politicians to allow for, and even promote, cannabis in their communities.

Direct action campaigns at politicians events who are running for office is an easy way to create awareness and drive the conversation. It only takes one courageous person with a marker and a piece of cardboard to make a powerful impact at a campaign event, or local happening. Be that person….and bring a friend. And the next time bring another friend….Then get those friends together to write some letters. Get those friends to invite even more friends; and then take your group of friends to meet other groups of similar cause for larger action….and the walls will crumble action by action, and voice by voice.

This is going to happen. We must ride the wave and drive the conversation. It is the end of prohibition if we want it to be. Will you pull the trigger with me?

target.1

The Airing of the Grievances

A Fesitvus for the rest of us….one of my favorite traditions. Please review and take in my airing of the grievances for 2013. Feel free to add your own in the comment section….

FrankFestivusPole

THE AIRING OF THE GRIEVANCES:

1. Weed is still not totally legal. (Though two states, a country, several cities and a federal stand down was a hell of a year)

2. People are still going to jail for weed at alarming rates in many areas. This must stop. However we get there, I just want to get there.

3. People are still losing their kids for weed. This is pure madness by any civilized standard. We must put an end to cannabis abductions.

4. Parents are still having to worry about treating their sick children with safe and effective cannabis medicines. What kind of evil people would put parents of sick children through this?

5. Folks are still losing their job for weed. If it were not for weed most companies would not even piss test people. We should end prohibition and at the same time end having to give body fluid to people for employment.

6. People are still looking down their noses at cannabis users. We must continue to shift the paradigm through admitting we are good people that like weed. For too long it has just been the fringe willing to step up. You garage weed smokers need to be accounted for. We all know you get high, dummy.

7. Why the fuck are people still hungry?

8. Too many losers running around claiming to be experts in this fucking industry who do not know shit except how to steal other people’s work and talk suckers out of their money.

9. Meth torches…..

10. Weed is still not totally legal…..

ASA vs ASA National: Why Steele Smith III is retarded.

ASA_Logo_large asa.national.1

Well let’s jump right into this hot mess…

For those who do not know, there is some odd (and unnecessary) legal bullshit brewing at Americans for Safe Access. To make a long and ignorant story palatable, Steele Smith III is an odd fellow from Southern California. He used to run a dispensary with his wife, Theresa (who by all accounts is not creepy but for some reason puts up with Steele’s antics). They were raided, and after a lot of grandstanding about how he was going to be “the first trial to mention medical marijuana in Federal court,” he actually ended up quietly taking a deal and being sentenced to 5 years probation.

Fast forward to now. The huckster Steele Smith III is trying to sell some bullshit medicine called “Idrasil,” which was questioned by respected cannabis expert and physician Dr. Alan Frankel in an article that can be found HERE. He had this to say:

idrasil.1

The reason he is so upset is that I don’t like them, their product nor their ridiculous claims that all major insurance companies will reimburse for their cannabinoid product. I have seen this twice before in my seven years in this business. Both times, the insurance claims were bogus and people were prosecuted. Just because checks come in from insurance companies for the “Idrasil”, does not in any way mean that the insurance companies really know what they are paying for.

I recently came into possession of several of the Idrasil pills and sent them off to two different labs; one in N Cal and one in S Cal. In both cases, the amount of active cannabinoids was no where close to their claims. I also personally ingested a tablet and had no CBD effect whatsoever. When a person ingests CBD orally, there is a very distinctive feeling in the lateral areas of ones brain, as the receptors for CBD are in a different location than THC. I felt no THC nor CBD effect.

So to continue to make the case of why Steele Smith is retarded, it is easy to see a pattern of deception and lies that he uses to create hype and promotion for his bullshit.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do not use the term “retarded” in the context of “disabled” here. This is a type of retarded that goes beyond any recognizable medical condition. It is a character defect and serious human flaw. It is a combination of ego and ignorance, as well as the belief that a stupid person is much smarter than most intelligent people. It is just…in words I cannot express otherwise….RETARDED.

re·tard 1  (r-tärd)

v.re·tard·edre·tard·ingre·tards
v.tr.

To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede.
v.intr.

To be delayed.
n.

1. A slowing down or hindering of progress; a delay.

 

In other words…this jackass is a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

So now that the table is set for why this guy is a retard, let me explain the ASA vs ASA National bullshit that has come across my desk more than once over the last couple of weeks. Steele Smith III wanted a leadership position with a local Chapter of Americans for Safe Access. Because he is retarded, no one voted for him and he was not given the position. Like a true loser, he decided to enact his revenge.

In October 2012 he filed for a trademark under the name Americans for Safe Access with their logo, and began touting himself as the “owner” of the ASA brand and new director of “ASA NAtional.” Because of some legal realities of trademark laws, and Americans for Safe Access’ failure to properly secure their trademark, Steele believes he has found some legal standing as to why he now owns the ASA brand and logo. I told you he was retarded.

His lawsuit reads:

Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Defendants are presently using SMITH’s Mark on the interne, in email communications, and as well as within various promotional materials, advertisements and signs, without authorization of SMITH.

Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Defendant SAN DIEGO AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS, Defendant SAN DIEGO ASA, and Defendant SAN DIEGO CHAPTER OF AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS, and each of them, use SMITH’s Mark throughout their website, “safeaccesssd.org ,” as well as on Facebook and Twitter accounts, and that SMITH’s Mark is used without authorization…

Plaintiff is engaged in substantially exclusive use and exploitation of SMITH’s Mark in connection with the California corporation, ASA National, of which he is an officer, and association arising from the similarity between Defendants’ various trade names and SMITH’s Mark, harms the reputation of SMITH’s Mark…

But I am not a lawyer, so I do not get into the legal mumbo-jumbo too often. I try to live in the real world of ethics, morality, and good judgement. In that context, I could give a shit who “legally” owns ASA’s trademark and name. The fact is that the organization was built and developed by Steph Sherer, who is the rightful director and leader of Americans for Safe Access.

I do not always agree with Steph on policy and direction for the movement, but you will never hear me discredit or demean the work she has done. Steph is an amazing woman, and for all of our disagreements, she is one of the people in this movement who has taught me a lot about activism and being a voice for change. Her tireless efforts to get ASA off the ground and keep it active and solvent in times of despair and difficulty is something I respect greatly. I was there. I saw the hard work and the dedication. I know Steph’s heart is true, regardless of where we do not see eye to eye, and ASA has done more work for cannabis freedom than most of the other groups in the movement have combined.

Americans for Safe Access will always have a very special place in my heart. I stood in the trenches with this group for many years, while others would not even come to the table. I watched as these folks froze their ass off in a little crappy office in Berkeley organizing protests for people facing charges way back in the day before there was funding or the high level of awareness for this cause that we see now. These folks did the work and fought the hard battles when no one else would.

When I was raided by the Feds in 2007, the first call I made was to my attorney. The second call I made was to Americans for Safe Access. They sent people to my facilities to make sure my staff was okay and began organizing a response that literally probably saved me from going to prison. They were instrumental in helping me understand what I was up against and helped me develop strategies that eventually led to me serving no time in prison. Steph and her crew were an amazing asset and powerful force in creating awareness for my case and for this cause. I am proud to have worked so closely with them over the years, and honored to say that they were there for me when no one else was.

mickeymartin.press

So for me this is personal. When a fucktard like Steele Smith III wants to pull some strong-armed legal bullshit on an organization I deeply respect, and when I get folks coming up to me telling me that ASA is now under new management, I get pissed. This is not an exercise in legal bullshit….it is an ethical nightmare. Steele does not own ASA or have anything to do with ASA other than being a scumbag who filed some bullshit lawsuit against the organization to drain them of their resources and enact some petty revenge for not getting his way.

I would encourage Steele Smith to get his shit together and also to get some help. You are not all there, player. It is fine to be a little out there and somewhat eccentric. I get that. But what you are trying to do here is a fucking joke. You are simply pathetic and if you were smart (which I know you might not be) you would just put an end to this now.

But I expect more backlash and kicking and screaming from you before it is all said and done. Feel free to send me one of your lovely threats. Here is one you sent to someone else that you can use as a template:

Do you want to get sued too?
Don’t you know Steph Scherer has been fired from ASA?
You need to cease & desist your activity or you will end up defending yourself, also.
Align yourself with legitimate ASA & not with losers…
You are only getting one notice,
Call me if you want a job.
Steele

Your inability to spell the person’s name you are referencing is telling….and it is not a typo, as I have several correspondence with this spelling. You willingness to threaten and work to intimidate people might work better if you spelled shit right. What it tells the world is that you are acting on your own and have no real legal counsel helping you, as any good attorney would have told you these incoherent threats would only hurt your case. I mean do you really want us to believe that any legitimate attorney advise you to release this as your public statement about the situation?

Hi Everyone,
Please know Steph Scherer has been fired from her affiliation with ASA. Please see termination letters to her & Don Duncan posted publicly, at ASANATIONAL.org.  Know that any representation by Steph or Don regarding ASA activities will be construed as fraud. Also, any person or organization representing ASA in any way will result in your being sued also, personally & your affiliates. Lastly, the ASA lawsuit by Joe Alford against the U.S. will be dismissed for lack of standing as Joe elford does not legally represent ASA.
Good luck to you all in your future endeavors.
Cordially,
Steele Smith

What world do you live in? Does anyone in your camp know how to write or spell in ways that people can understand? My favorites are the screen captures of you threatening Don Duncan. A mutual friend was kind enough to share them with me. I really love the “suck my cock you Fuck” statement. I mean, that is truly awesome. Spoken like a true professional. LOL.

steelesmith.screencap.1

So I will make this ultimately clear for those of you who might not get it….

STEELE SMITH III IS RETARDED AND IF YOU ASSOCIATE WITH HIM OR BUY INTO THIS ASA NATIONAL CRAP YOU ARE ALSO RETARDED.

Now that we are clear on that, hopefully this jackass can put this to rest, and quit wasting time, energy, and resources on this bullshit lawsuit and weak attempt to co-opt the ASA brand. I do not expect him to do the right thing. I anticipate he will read this and freak out. I am sure there will be some maniac mumbling and bumbling before it is all said and done.

But Steele…..I hope you do threaten to sue me. I would love nothing more than to litigate what a worthless piece of shit you are in court, and in the court of public opinion. All legal inquiries can be sent to 710 High Street, GoFuckYourself, CA 94710. Thanks.

I will ask you this point blank too and it is something you should strongly consider…..”Does your US probation Officer know you are using electronic communication to threaten others?” (I just know when I was on Federal probation that was a big no-no and grounds for a violation. Food for thought.)

Here are the other retarded folks who have decided to join Steele on his unethical and immoral adventure:

(Not at all surprised to see MCLR proponent Dege Coutee on the list and they wonder why everyone thinks their California Initiative effort is BS)

asanational,boardlosers.2

 

asanational.board

Family Values: How the war on weed has become a militarized war on families.

mickey.lucas.pressconference.2

The war on cannabis is a complete and utter failure. There is no getting around that. We have lost. Weed is not going anywhere. There is not any less of it then when we began the war on drugs over 40 years ago. There are not less people using it, and if there are that is a tragedy in itself because those people are likely using booze instead. We have spent over a trillion dollars imprisoning our neighbors and militarizing local police forces to fight this “war.” What the fuck are we doing?

Yet regardless of the obvious failures, every day we allow for armed gunmen to storm the homes of people, often good family people, to save us from the evils of weed. Somehow the logic is that if we discover a person growing safe, enjoyable, and helpful plants that the best way to protect our community is to drive a tank full of soldiers armed to the teeth to the residence and use militarized war tactics to enter the home, subdue the family, tear apart their home in search of whatever it is we say we want to look for, drag the parents off to jail, and lock their kids up with strangers in foster care centers.

I will never figure out how we believe we are solving a problem by making a dozen more. We create poverty and a black market for cannabis. We use our limited resources to pay for enforcement. We use SWAT teams to cut down gardens. We destroy families, creating further poverty. We force children to be raised without their parents. We lock people in cages for draconian mandatory minimum sentences for weed, and then wonder why our prisons are all overcrowded. And for what? What problem is ever solved by these actions?

Who is winning here? Because it certainly is not our communities, our society, or the people directly affected. We are creating a society of mistrust and anger. We cannot keep stealing people’s children in the name of your failed war on cannabis. This must stop now.

I recall when I was raided by the federal government in 2007. We were lucky enough to not be home at the time armed gunmen swarmed my home and businesses. But I remember returning to my ransacked home to find my kid’s rooms tossed and every drawer opened with my kids belongings strewed all over the room. The look on my wife’s face and the sound of her voice is one I will never forget, as she said “why would they do this to my babies rooms?” We imagined what it would have been like to be home and have these armed thugs awaken our children from their sleep at gunpoint because I made weed brownies for sick people. It made me sick to my stomach.

It is that sickness that sits with me EVERY DAY.

Yeah…I was lucky. But so many others are not. So many good families are torn apart by these unjust and immoral laws. For a long time it was a reality that I could not face. I understood the grave risk that my work in the cannabis industry put my family in. I still understand that and face it every day as an activist and part of the growing cannabis industry. I know that I am still at great risk of being torn from my family and locked in a cage for years for my involvement. It weighs heavy on me at every moment of every day.

My wife is an amazing human, which is probably the only thing that allows me to carry on. After the raid while I was awaiting my fate through the judicial process my wife and I had some very real and pointed conversations about the risk my involvement with cannabis brought to our family. My wife could not imagine having to raise our two young sons with me in prison for a decade. There was certainly a robust discussion of me walking away forever and not looking back. I even prepared a resume and began looking for work in different industries. It had certainly changed our reality.

My decision to press on and follow what I believed in was, and continues to be, one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. If you ever hear me tell my story in public, like clockwork, when I get to the part about my house being raided and my kids rooms being tossed my voice will crack and I will be overcome with emotion. I have to take a breath every time because that wave of anger and sadness overcomes me. I am paralyzed by it. The fear of losing my kids and my freedom for my fight for cannabis freedom is too much for me to comprehend at times. Which is why in all my writings, I touch on the subject very little…It is my biggest fear and my ultimate weakness.

I carry on not because I am selfish and do not care about my kids. I carry on because I love my kids (and all kids) enough to fight and make sure this does not keep happening to our community. We have been extremely lucky in our journey for justice; but most are not. Most people facing these charges for cannabis do not have the support and community that we had fighting for us. Most are very alone and facing a very scary situation with little or no direction or support. These laws target the most vulnerable poor and minority communities and destroy the family foundation in areas so desperately in need. It is something we can no longer ignore. It is very real and we are all lesser people for allowing these practices to continue in our name.

So my continued fight for cannabis freedom has little to do with me, or even my family. It has to do with a moral obligation to right the wrongs of yesterday and make sure we end these injustices once and for all.

I largely overlooked the people losing their kids issue for a long time. Because my kids were not directly affected by my raid, it was easier for me to avoid the subject. That was until I met Daisy Bram.

As a writer, a lot of things come across my desk. The audio in the Youtube video below was sent to me. I opened it and began to listen to this mother scream for her babies, as agents removed her kids because she had a medical cannabis garden in her home. Take a minute to listen to it, and like me, I am sure it will change your life forever.

I heard in Daisy’s screams the voice of my own wife…..of my friend’s wives….of my mother. I heard a mother desperate to keep her children, while heartless officers separated newborn babies from her loving arms. I could no longer ignore the reality that this was nothing more than complete terrorism of the American family unit.

I wrote a story on the issue and posted the audio for all to hear on my blog. I began feverishly posting it in cannabis circles in hopes of raising awareness. I also got to know Daisy and began working to help her where I could in organizing support for her case. I am saddened to say that Daisy is still fighting this battle and her kids are still removed from her. It breaks my heart.

But it also inspires me because Daisy Bram is one of the strongest women I have had the pleasure of meeting. I cannot say I could remain as composed and as active as she has throughout this mess. She has endured some of the most unjust treatment from the “child protective” agencies and continues to fight for her freedom and the return of her children. She has not wavered in her stance and has become a powerful voice for change. I encourage everyone to get to know Daisy, and learn from her experiences through all of this, and to continue to support her in her ongoing struggle. You can find more about her case at here Facebook page HERE.

Daisy was certainly not the first person to have her family torn apart over weed; but her sharing of her experience and the undeniable tragedy experienced through listening to her cries for help in real time during the raid gave me an insight that I could no longer ignore. Her story has also given courage to other families to speak out about their situations.

My recent path has led me to begin the development of a new group called Parents 4 Pot. It was not my intention, as like I mentioned, I often try to not think about the kid deal because it scares the living shit out of me. But fate is seldom wrong…so I try not to stand in its way. The stars have aligned and I am honored to be helping create an organization dedicated to being a voice for families who are facing issues regarding cannabis.

parents4pot.2

In doing so, we are hoping to create a support network for families affected by the tragedy of cannabis prohibition. In just a short couple of weeks, as the word has spread about the organization, we have been made aware of several stories of families being torn apart by cannabis laws. Below are just a few of these stories that have come our way that we are hoping to raise awareness for, provide support for, and to keep from happening ever again to good people who like weed:

JOSHUA E. MASON: TENNESSEE

joshmason.1

This is an incredible story worthy of some attention and support. Josh is a father of a three-year-old daughter whose home was raided for a small garden, and some cuttings. He was subjected to a no-knock raid where heavily armed military style tactics were used to subdue him in front of his child. He lost custody of his daughter for a period of time and has been railroaded through the legal system trying to maintain his freedom. Josh has been forced to pay a large fine in a very short period of time, or face 15 years in prison for his garden. He literally has until next Monday to come up with a $4k donation to the drug fund, or his case will be sent to the Grand Jury and he could lose his legal counsel. Did I mention they could revoke his bail and remand him to custody? It is nuts. This is how our legal system works…you pay to play. Unfortunately our prisons are filled with people who have no money to pay. For more information on Josh’s story and how you can help visit his GoFundMe page HERE and kick down some money to keep this family together. Wanna make someone’s Christmas? Here is your opportunity.

JASON WILSON AND DANIELLE GIESEN: ALABAMA

staytogether.1

This young couple was busted growing in Alabama and spent the summer in jail awaiting bond, during which she found out she was pregnant. They are being forced to pay heavy attorneys fees and for expert witnesses in hopes of avoiding prison sentences of up to 15 years each. This is a first offense for both of these kids and they are being told they will both do many years in prison even if they do take a plea bargain. They have worked hard to be upstanding members of their community since their arrest and deserve to be given a second chance. In many places like Alabame cannabis crimes are enforced more vigorously than rape or even murder. It never ceases to amaze me that a District Attorney, another human being, could see a poor struggling family who broke an unjust and immoral law as criminals worthy of spending decades in prison. I cannot comprehend it. Where did our society go so wrong? If you would like to help this young family ensure they have good legal counsel and the evidence they need to be judged accordingly for their actions, please donate to their cause HERE. Nothing is more sad than seeing young parents just starting their life being railroaded by a system gone terribly wrong. Help folks like this find justice.

TODD STIMPSON: NORTH CAROLINA

stimpson.1

Todd Simpson is the father of two daughters, one of which is very ill with a large tumor wrapped around her organs. He maintained a small medical cannabis garden and was raided by North Carolina law enforcement at gunpoint, where his daughters were also forced at gunpoint to put their hands on their heads and were detained during the search of the property. Todd has an interesting case because he actually purchased tax stamps from the State and paid the taxes on his cannabis crop. He is now facing charges for his cultivation, while also dealing with his daughter’s health issues. Below is a news piece on his case that is heartbreaking. To find more about Todd and his case check out their awesome website at:  http://www.brmcrc.org/.

MELANIE TREINEN

melanie.1

Melanie shared her story with me also. While she is not facing years in prison, her case is also very relevant to the larger picture. She is a cannabis patient who used cannabis to relieve severe medical symptoms related to pregnancy (hyperemisis) where she would be constantly ill and malnutritioned during pregnancy. After complication due to pharmaceutical options during her first pregnancy she discussed the option of cannabis tincture with her physician who agreed it was a better option for her rare condition. The risks of malnutrition outweighed the risk of cannabis. Since it was recommended by her physician she shared her experience with social workers at the hospital. She was then blindsided by the system and faced with an investigation into her cannabis use. During this time the agency removed her children for 8 months. She was pushed around by the system and encouraged to succumb to their drug treatment programs. She found her voice and demanded to be evaluated, to which there was no evidence of addiction or drug problems found. The judge actually ended up apologizing for the actions of the agency in her case and her kids were returned to her. But for eight long month she was without their love, and they with hers. She was worried for their safety and forced to have her life examined by people claiming to have some moral higher ground. The CPS system is severely broken, and it has become profitable for many of these agencies to remove children from parents for cannabis. The system is designed to attack poor families who cannot defend themselves and it is stories of mother’s like Melanie that let us know we have a lot of work to do to end these practices. For more information on Melanie’s situation check out her petition on change.org HERE.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO? I am glad you asked….

And these are just four cases that have touched me over the past week, or so. there are literally thousands just like them that have yet to be heard, or which may never be heard unless we give them a voice. It is up to us to help change these laws and end the evil practice of destroying families over cannabis.

No one is going to do it for us. The system is rigged and we must demand it be destroyed. These are our friends, our neighbors, and our families. These are not criminals who deserve to be in prison. These are good people.

We are better than this as a society. We must come together and be a voice for real change. It is no longer okay to sit back and hope it does not happen to us. It can happen to you and if you do not speak up and demand change it WILL happen to you. We have the power to create change and we must.

I am proud to be organizing Parents 4 Pot as a group where parents can feel safe to come together to create meaningful change. Through raising awareness, becoming active, and supporting those in our community in need of assistance we can make a difference. Please join us in our mission and help us put an end to the destruction of the American family due to the failed prohibition of a safe, enjoyable and helpful plant.

1469907_10202199549406884_1854327936_n

 

 

Ruining everybody's lives and eating all our steak

rico.1

The weed movement is alive with the sound of bullshit.

It seems like every day a new huckster shows up with tall tales about throwing a football over the mountain. The environment is ripe for hyperbole and the Uncle Ricos are out in full force. You got people taking victory laps for races they never even ran, and using their self-proclaimed lies to fleece anyone who will buy into their schemes.

Then there are the enablers. These folks stand around the sidelines begging people to not rock the boat and to just let the untruthful rhetoric go unchallenged in the name of the greater good. These co-dependent bullshitters do not mind being mislead and lied to, as long as there is some perceived gain for themselves, or the community. So what if a person in disingenuous? As long as we are making progress, why should we challenge the moral fabric of those aligned with our cause?

Simple….one word…….INTEGRITY.

Those willing to trade our integrity for the promise of prosperity will likely never realize either one. When we fail to rise up and demand integrity from those representing our cause, we demean the hard work and energy of everyone. Because too many people that our movement looks to for leadership cannot seem to grow a sack of nuts and challenge some of these wingnuts, what we have is unchecked chaos resulting in garbled messaging and missed outreach.

Pretending something does not exist will not make it go away.

At times I wonder if there are even any folks left in the ranks who remember what we are fighting for.

What I see is the different tribes of cannabis circling their wagons looking for the next big thing that can propel them to the front of the pack. Nobody wants to make any waves in fear of not being asked to the dance, or losing their position in the race for fame and fortune.

Are there any people left who just want pure unadulterated cannabis freedom? Is everyone so worried about where they will come out on the other side of prohibition that they could give a shit how we get there? Are folks willing to let any dipshit with an orange van and a few footballs  waltz right in an make a bunch of bogus claims without having the courage to stand up and call “BULLSHIT?”

I cannot do it. I cannot sit back and watch these wannabe business moguls run roughshod over the industry without at least trying to stop them. You can cry and whine about how we should never say anything bad about another supposed cannabis activist because it fuels our opposition. That is the most pathetic thing I have ever heard.

You know what fuels our opposition? Being lead by cowards who did not have the nerve to have the difficult conversation within their own ranks, resulting in opportunity cost and lost goodwill.

We are only as good as the worst among us. If we cannot begin to weed out the charlatans and  con-men on our own, we should not be surprised when their deviant and selfish actions become synonymous with our entire message.

We already see the pump and dump kings working to co-opt the goodwill of national reform groups and charity organizations. We see self-admitted cannabis nobodies getting big airtime because they have a pocket full of money. There is little regard for cannabis and/or freedom in the modern era of  promotion. Cannabis politics also makes for very strange bedfellows.

But I challenge you to look around and take stock of what is going on. Understand that there is a lot more happening at this very moment than weed activism. Moves are being made. Souls are being purchased. False promises are being made. People are getting fleeced. You want the moon? You got it….

The Big Magnet in the Sky is in the details.

When the ugly face of reality is all that is left, let’s just remember we had this conversation. Most of what you see now is a mirage. There is a lot of scripted conversation and double talk happening that is being sold as progress. Most of the folks out there whoring themselves out will not be here when it is all said and done.

They will be chewed up and spit out by bigger fish with even less integrity. What we see now is child’s play compared to real business and industry. Most of these players do not have the stomach for it and will be gone at the first decent sell-out payday. Mark my words.

But some of you fuckers need to quit ruining everybody’s lives and eating all of the steak before it gets ugly. That is fair warning. Steak for thought.

Integrity matters.

eatingsteak.1

Do more. Work harder. Make a difference. Be a good person.

goodperson.workhard.1

Can you feel it? We are getting close. It is happening. The cries of our opposition are telling.

It is now time for the kill shot. It is time to step up and do more. We all have that in us. Whatever you are good at, do it more- do it better- work harder.

The war is over if we want it to be. Drug warriors are noticeably worried about the end of cannabis prohibition. Hell…the leaders of our movement are noticeably worried.

Why? Because the world has changed. Yesterday will be gone soon; and we will be faced with the challenges of tomorrow. But it must happen. We have got to allow our society to evolve, and we need to be be the driving force for real and meaningful reforms.

I challenge you to take the next few months and work harder for cannabis freedom than you ever have in your life. Stay up late and get up early. Burn the midnight oil for this cause and I assure you we will see real results over the coming year. We must turn up the volume and begin to hold people’s feet to the fire. What we see happening is real. We are winning, but have not yet won.

It will take all of us doing the work to end this thing once and for all.

We are surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing, so we must remain vigilant. Everyone who claims to love weed is not necessarily our friend; and some are certainly enemies of freedom. There are many who are here to ride our cause all the way to the bank, and could give a shit about how we get there as long as they get theirs.

This movement is in serious need of some self-purification. It would be great to see those considered leaders of this movement just put down the donation bucket for a minute and take the time to do some house cleaning.

Manage the movement you lead and stop managing the organization you run…..or get the fuck out of the way for those of us who love weed and demand freedom. We are coming. We will not stop. We cannot continue to sit by and hope change will come to us.

In order to make a diference we have to have share common goals. Our goals as a movement must be pure and true. We cannot continue to be constrained by the failed visions of yesterday.

It is time for real action, and that will take some real leadership.

The movement will always be fractured and splintered in its current form because there are just too many hurt feelings from years of ineffectiveness and sometimes treachery. It is hard to make a difference when at the core, the different tribes of our movement have such great disdain for one another.

I am not one to push the myth of unity. Not with this group. I have been standing here too long to have any real hope for that.

The movement is full of agendas and motives. The old guard and new guard do not even speak the same language. The ground is moving beneath our feet and we have to decide if we are going to allow for the noise and confusion to retard our progress.

But let’s stop blindly wandering towards cannabis freedom. Let’s find a more focused message and more clear strategies that will result in the real death of prohibition.

Quit hiding behind the fears of what could be or maintaining the status quo. Take our direct actions and pointed messages farther than we ever have before. Challenge the status quo. Do not think for a minute that our opposition is not working hard to keep cannabis freedom as limited as possible.

We can decide if we want to make a real difference or not…..if ending the madness is important enough for us to have the tough conversations and do the real work. Or if we are going to allow pageantry and parlor tricks to continue to rule the day.

This community does not need more distractions…we need actions. We need people willing to use their talents, their communications and their energy to be an active voice for change. We need to hit the ground with an army of informed people to meet our opposition wherever they may be.

It is imperative we have soldiers in every community to step up and get out to meetings and to organize in their communities. We need people willing to challenge people’s thinking by saying loudly and proudly “I LIKE WEED AND I AM A GOOD PERSON.”

In order to push change, we have to make it embarrassing to be on the wrong side of history. We don’t just want an end to these archaic policies, we want a fucking apology.

It is no longer okay to stand on the sidelines and wait for the rest of us to do the work for you. You have got to do your part if we want to make this happen. If we want to really end weed prohibition, and free our brothers and sisters from prison, we have got to get moving like never before.

The walls are crumbling so grab a sledge hammer and jump right in. I have never been more optimistic than I am right now.

There will always be those in our ranks who lack heart. We cannot let these forces overpower our message of cannabis freedom. We are too close to be done in by those we believed were our friends. The end of cannabis prohibition is near, and I refuse to let those using our issue for fame, fortune and power to continue on without a fight. Either pick up a sledgehammer or do not be surprised if the sledgehammer start swinging at you, and your house-of-cards empire.

Do more. Work Harder. Make a difference. Be a good person………Or get run over by those of us who will.