Weed Activist

Snake Oil: History repeats itself

February 23, 2014 in Ethics and Morality, Medical Cannabis, Weed Business, Weed Politics

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Humans can be relatively stupid and gullible creatures. We will believe anything if you put the right sales spin and fancy marketing on it.

So here we are over 100 years after the snake oil peddlers were done away with by the 1906 Food and Drug Act, which attempted to regulate medicines and curb the abuses of “travelling “doctors” with dubious credentials, selling fake medicines with boisterous marketing hype, often supported by pseudo-scientific evidence.” Sound familiar? Yes….Look around you. History is indeed repeating itself and the cannabis snake oil salespeople are out in full force to sucker you out of your hard earned cash before prohibition ends.

The ruse was simple. Wander into a town of unsuspecting people proclaiming to have the cure all for their illness and disease and sucker the townspeople into buying up all of your bullshit snake oil preparations. The way they would pull off the trick is to have accomplices in the audience that would claim that the preparation had really helped them. They would sucker people into believing their bullshit based on the testimonies of those who had supposedly used this new cure all and had been healed. Yeah…Let that soak in for a minute. Check the landscape and you can see that this ruse is more alive than ever, and the internet and social media have made it easier than ever to pull off. The quasi-legal state of cannabis and the lack of oversight or regulation make it extra easy picking for these modern day medical hucksters.

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What we have is a perfect storm for fraud, corruption, and deception.

So how is this happening in the modern age of strict medical oversight and regulation? Simple….Because cannabis s first and foremost an illegal Schedule 1 narcotic it is in no way regulated. But because of the growing acceptance for medical cannabis in many states and a level of tolerance for these programs by the USDOJ, what is happening is people are pushing the boundaries of medical truth and ethics to sell hemp/weed oil products. Since the regulators cannot regulate the market without ending the complete prohibition of cannabis and acknowledging it does need oversight, people are left to make their wild claims and sell their bogus oils on the open market with very little fear of prosecution. It is disgusting.

The saddest part is that a lot of the new hype we see is aimed directly at children. Take the group “Realm of Caring” from Colorado lead by Josh Stanley and his brothers. They did a really shitty TV reality show called American Weed where they acted like some experts in weed and overacted their “reality” scenes to a point of nausea. They then were gifted a strain of cannabis which was high in CBD and found it to work well for cases of children with severe epilepsy and other conditions. Enter Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his highly watched program called “Weed” where he shifts his professional opinion on medical cannabis and does a great close-up spot on the efficacy of this medicine for a young girl named Charlotte. It is a well-done and touching piece that was informative and helped people to understand that cannabis did indeed have special healing properties. All good so far, right?

Leave it to the American value of money over morals to step in and take over though. Instead of being grateful they had discovered a remedy that could help others and working to make sure parents of these kids had access to these types of medicines, the brothers Stanley decided that they had found the magic beans and were going to keep them for their own gain. Because of the media they received they became a go to resource for parents who were desperate for relief for their children. The RoC group has truly let their minimal success based on limited sampling and over-hyped media go to their head. Parents have reported being forced onto a waiting list for care for many months and being forced to sign non-disclosure/non-compete agreements that only allow them to discuss their care and receive medicine from Realm of Caring. They are selling what amounts to a good high CBD strain dissolved in olive oil for big money to parents desperate to make their child’s suffering stop. It is pretty fucked up from an ethical standpoint on many levels. If there really was any “realm of caring” in there they would share the strain with parents in need and allow them to cultivate low cost medicine for their child; or at the very least allow other people with more production capability produce it in a higher volume to meet demands and not have to wait months because they believe everything Dr. Sanjay Gupta says on CNN.

NOTE TO PEOPLE SEEKING OIL: There are far higher quality and less expensive products available than are being offered to most caught up in the hype game.

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As I dig deeper into the Stanley’s background and operations, more and more questions are raised. Now the RoC group is working to push CBD only legislation in states to ensure their place in the market by playing on drug war and prohibition fears. The Stanley’s go out of their way to play into the hype and propaganda, as they try to differentiate themselves from the average “stoner” or “pothead.” Check out these classic quotes from the Stanley’s and their mission from God:

“We are not a bunch of stoners, and we do not associate with the stereotypes of what people would like to associate with us,” Joel Stanley said. “We care about what we do.”

So you are suggesting that because one is a “stoner” that they do not care about what they do? And then there is this classic:

“If we were growing psychoactive plants for a bunch of potheads, then that would be the question,” he said. “But what people should ask is ‘How did a group of Christians come to grow a plant for sick people?’”

So now you are using your religion as a moral higher ground for your cannabis production? You are throwing the entire cannabis culture (which your friends say you were indeed a pretty deep part of…former deadheads) under the bus to play yourself as literally “God’s gift to weed?” This is the making of the modern day Snake Oil Salesman. Some fancy marketing, a little media push, and some good old fashion Jesus hyperbole for the folks in the cheap seats. It is insane that such a transparent group of charlatans have successfully bullshitted public officials and unsuspecting parents into buying their shitty story.

But they are far from the only ones. There are almost too many to mention. Swing a dead cat around and you will probably hit a person trying to push their latest miracle cure; but let’s stick to the big dogs.

The other big scam popping off is the questionable hemp derived products being pushed most notably by Hempmeds PX RHSO (Real Scientific Hemp Oil). The company claims that their product is legal to distribute in all 50 states because it is derived from hemp paste that is legal to import. Their claims are dubious and are moving targets. The parent company, Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA) has a lot of affiliated companies that have made a lot of strange moves on the stock market, which is a totally different but related story. There is a good article entitled “Medical Marijuana, Inc. Definitely A Dope Opera” on Seeking Alpha that is worth checking out to get a better breakdown of the complex bullshit workings of this company, and their former partnership with Dixie, a Colorado based company also offering similar hemp derived preparations. It is extremely bizarre and frustrating. These con-artists have exploited the popularity of cannabis and zero regulation to make crazy marketing claims about their products.

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The product itself is a low quality product that is produced under conditions that reportedly leave a lot to be desired. Here is a quote from one of the scientists hire by Dixie, then a part of MJNA, to help create these product lines:

I am tired of so called CBD companies claiming that what they provide is medicine. Anyone using a CBD from hemp product please be aware of what you’re actually getting because it is not what you think. These formulations start with a crude and dirty hemp paste (contaminated with microbial life! I have seen this and these organisms decompose the paste. The paste perhaps even contains residual solvent and other toxins as the extraction is done in China ) made in a process that actually renders it unfit for human consumption.

What these companies are doing is criminal and dangerous. In fact MJNA’s RSHO is literally just this hemp paste diluted in hemp seed oil. No refinement at all!!! And what Dixie Botanicals is offering is beyond disturbing. I cannot keep quiet any more. And since I formulated most of these products as head of Dixie science, I feel responsible for spreading the truth. I left Dixie for ethical reasons but it is not enough to just walk away. These frauds need to be exposed for what they are. Look out for my tell all article coming soon and feel free to contact me directly with questions as it is time to blow the whistle. Let’s keep this industry pure and safe.”

— Tamar Wise, formerly head of Dixie Science.

Sound good? Yeah…now check out the price tag:

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That is right. For only $550 a tube or six tubes for $3,000 you too can have some shitty hemp paste black oil that comes from who knows where and is overseen by absolutely no one. You say, “Well Mickey….they haven’t exactly sent in people pretending to have been healed to sell their products have they?” Great question. I am glad you asked.

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Check out this new MULTI_LEVEL MARKETING scam being put out by the MJNA group called Kannaway. Does it sound like some Amway pyramid scheme? Well it is. Unbelievable right? Check out this conference call the company has where this unsuspecting guy finds this great opportunity to sell these awesome products and make some extra money! How convenient. LOL:

THIS VIDEO WAS MADE PRIVATE BY THESE COWARDS AFTER THIS STORY BROKE. THEY MUST BE ASHAMED OF SOMETHING? IT HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH ANOTHER VERSION.

Still not sold that is a scam yet? Listen to this bullshit fake news interview with known MJNA spokesperson Charles Vest (friend of #bitchface) where he explains the great opportunity. It is ripe with Snake Oil Salesman double-speak and bullshit:

They have posted messages like this all over social media and especially in forums where parents with sick children go to discuss their situation, often using very similar stories of success with people to lure them in:

Aloha My Friend! Listen – you’ve got to know about this. Do you already? I’m joining the 1st legal CBD product company and they’re launching in March / April. I’m going in with friendsand am gathering my troops .. it’s MLM style. 100% legit, legal, and I can send you more info. Let me know if you’re interested – this is BIG – millions of dollars and years of medical research to validate what we already know. This is going to blow up!! Do it with me, I will help you build a massive downline! If you are at all interested My ID (sponsor ID #) is: 2******* – enroll yourself first here: Kannaway | The Buzz Launch www.thebuzzlaunch.com Kannaway | The Buzz Launch www.thebuzzlaunch.com Team Information Website Under Development: www.CBD4us.com Has been submitted to Kannaway for Compliance review. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed! Company CBD Information Website: mycbdresearch.com We are now seeing the Convergence of …The Opportunity • Ground-floor … still in FREE prelaunch • March 1 – Basic ordering begins • April 1 – Official Launch with a powerful hybrid unilevel compensation plan Affiliate Company Websites • www.medicalmarijuanainc.comwww.realscientifichempoil.com • ·www.hempmedspx.com

I am not sure how clear I need to make this, but these folks are making a big press to separate you from your money by providing false hope at inflated prices before the veil of prohibition is lifted and they are found out to be frauds.

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Snake Oil selling is alive and well, complete with fake people who have been miraculously cured, fancy marketing, misleading labeling, and arm twisting. These bold faces liars and fraudsters are here to do one thing…make money and lots of it. They are using these schemes to boost their stock profiles as well. It is all a very twisted and ugly game to sucker investors and people who want to believe, but who do not live in a medical cannabis state, out of their hard-earned cash.

It is fucked up and we as a community should not allow for this to go on in our name. There are people’s loyalties being bought and sold on the open market to give some credence to these bullshitters; and it never ceases to amaze me what losers will fall into the traps of these frauds. But it is happening and many choose to stand back without saying a word in hopes that the whole deal does not collapse before our eyes and dismantle the work we have done so some bastards can have their get rich quick scheme based on lax supplement laws and misleading marketing.

This story is so big it is hard to write in one piece and it is only growing by the day. More to come on CBD only legislation, stock scammers, and inferior oil products in their own rights later. But it is up to us, as a community, to begin asking the tough questions and exposing these scams before good people get hurt any more.

Weed Activist

What if prohibition failed to exist?

February 14, 2014 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Love, Weed Politics

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Prohibition is ending. It is dying a slow and painful death and then it will change in a quick and rapid burst. This zeitgeist is what we see happening right now.

We are in a strange matrix in time where cannabis fluxuates between legal and illegal, as well as understood and misunderstood. I am not sure any of us can understand completely what a legal cannabis market will look like, but we all know it is going to be different than what we see right now.

As we see the progression happening on many fronts to move towards more sensible cannabis policies, the industry finds itself in a strange position. We do not have the protections and oversight of normal businesses because all of our activities are technically 100% illegal. You also have an industry that is legal enough to draw the attention of people who want a piece of the imminent pie. What you have is the perfect storm of chaos to push bulllshit lies and fraud. There is a lot of that going around these days.

But what if prohibition failed to exist? Take the criminal element out of the equation for producing, selling, and buying weed. Then what are we looking at? If we are looking at an above board business community that had oversight and accountability would we see the same level of bullshit con-games that we see happening now? Would we see folks taking advantage of the system to profit of of lies and deceit? Is there a certain level of unethical and immoral behavior that we put up with because technically we all are criminals in the eyes of law enforcement? Do we not rock the boat when we see unsavory business practices because of the veil of prohibition hanging over us all telling us not to?

So what does that look like when that veil is removed? What standards and ethics should we demand as a community for people who want to operate in the cannabis industry? Is there things that are apparent now that would not fly in most other regulated industries, like booze or even coffee production and distribution? Are we susceptible to more corrupt forces because of our culture of being afraid of prohibition? Of course….but soon that will change.

In a legal and open market would we see the level of false advertising and gratuitous claims we see now? Of course not. Folks could not batch up some muddy oil made from questionable hemp paste and tell people it cured children from disease without having the FDA so far up their ass that their head would spin. Would we see people attempting to muscle their way into the market by pushing people out with fear and threats of being reported to authorities? Nope. Do we think that any jackass with some pink sheets could make a stock corporation focused on weed and sucker the masses into buying their inflated stocks based on their affinity for weed? Doubtful.

But right now we are kind of fucked.

We will not be forever, and I believe that more acceptance of this as a legitimate industry is coming quick. If we cannot begin to envision what that will look like, we will likely be run over by some well-funded and connected people who will take advantage of our conundrum. But if we can envision the world beyond prohibition we may be able to find ways to avoid a lot of the bullshit, and allow for the industry to evolve naturally.

If we continue to play the game by the rules of yesterday we will certainly be at a disadvantage. When we begin to understand that the world has changed and so has the cannabis industry, we can begin to prepare for the realities of tomorrow.

Weed Activist

Progress is always difficult and often messy…

February 5, 2014 in ACTION ALERTS, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

MESSY

There is a lot happening in the world of cannabis right now. the walls of prohibition are crumbling faster than most had ever imagined and the cannabis reform “movement” is experiencing a lot of growth and change. With that comes some difficulty and at times things can certainly get a little messy. No one ever said ending prohibition was going to be quick and painless.

As the movement evolves from the underground into a working industry there are bound to be some growing pains. Many people who have worked on this cause for decades are being overrun by folks who just showed up to reap the rewards. There is no shortage of people pushing the “next big thing” and embellishing who they are and what they have done to dig deeper into cannabis circles. The sharks smell blood in the water.

People’s lives are being fucked with and their businesses are being attacked to create competitive advantages for wannabe business moguls. We have moved beyond a place where the people in this movement are here because they love cannabis….many do not. A lot of the folks we see coming on board as of late are people who like money and could give a shit about your weed, or how we got here beyond how they can profit from our hard work.

In this environment there is no real camaraderie. There is no trust and loyalty. It is all business; and in business the rules are a lot different. Personal and ethical responsibility to the cannabis plant go out the window. Business is about one thing…money. How much of it can we make to satisfy our investors? That is the only question. Nothing else matters.

So are we surprised to see clashes and situations where tempers boil over? Is it really surprising to think that when the buzzards begin circling overhead that we might want to take a shot or two at them before they swoop down and pick the carcass of our movement dry? Or in the name of “unity” should we all just bend over and take it like good soldiers for the cause?

I can assure you I will never bend over willingly.

One of the greatest, and one of the worst, things about this movement is that the people who make it up for the most part are non-confrontational hard-working folks. Weed brings out the best in people, and some find the soothing nature of the plant a pathway to passiveness and a desire for peace and love. Many people in this movement cringe at the first sign of conflict or trouble, and just beg for it all to go way. Many would rather let the predators have their way instead of doing the hard work of confronting and exposing them.

There is no question that this is a messy process. In order to confront those who prey on our immature industry one must speak up and take on the fight. A lot of these power-hungry charlatans are well-funded and have bought off some influential people in the industry to do their bidding. It is certainly an uphill battle….but a worthy one nonetheless.

Cannabis legalization and acceptance is happening rapidly. It is hard to really grasp and comprehend what we are seeing here. Progress is coming faster and harder than anyone wants to believe, and the folks looking to cash in know it. We have a choice as a community. We can stand back and let these folks rule the day in order to preserve some false sense of security through “not rocking the boat.” Or we can decide to take the task head on and demand more from the people who want to stand next to us and be a part of our “movement/industry.”

The second choice is difficult and often messy; but in the end, if we can stand our ground enough we may give birth to one of the most historic developments in business history; and create an industry that has a fucking conscience, and which respects the history of where we came from. A lot of people have lost their lives, their freedom, and their standing in the community fighting the evils of prohibition. It would be extremely disheartening to see all of those people’s hard work and sacrifice be traded in for just another cut-throat industry where profits overcome quality and dedication. 

We can decide if we want to sit down and shut up, or if we want to stand and fight. I choose the latter. If watching these battles is just too much for you to bear, then I apologize. In the end, maybe you will thank me though, if all goes according to plan. Selah.

Weed Activist

Why #bitchface resolution is not an option

February 3, 2014 in Ethics and Morality

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I have had many people come to me begging me to end the war with #bitchface. Let me just be clear and tell you that it is never gonna happen.

If you want to be on the same side as frauds, hucksters and cowards feel free. Unity is a myth when those involved are common criminals and charlatans. There will be no resolution. There is not going to be a kumbaya moment. Chances are it is going to get worse before it gets better.

“Why?,” you might ask. “What do I gain by putting time and energy into this situation?”

Cheryl Shuman is an evil human. She is not mistaken or misunderstood. She is a calculating con-artist who has spent her life seeking fame at any cost. It is not a mistake that she showed up in cannabis circles to try and make her claim to fame. She is here because there is attention to be gotten here, and no other reason.

I have tried to steer clear of this because she has so many pathetic issues to speak of that I didn’t have to, but let me say this out loud for everyone to hear so there is no mistaking it….

CHERYL NEVER CURED HER CANCER WITH CANNABIS.

I cannot not even be sure she ever had “ovarian cancer.” But I do know that if she did, it was a “radical hysterectomy” that cured it and not cannabis. You cannot cure something with cannabis that was completely removed from your body.

Her entire story is a ruse aimed at tugging on the heart-strings of people and gaining attention for herself. Yes. She is that woman. Her entire history shows it. She has consistently lied over the years to gain sympathy and attention, even going as far as accusing Steven Seagal and an entire police force of assaulting her. Seagal was cleared of any wrongdoing and the suit was dismissed based on the claims being “repetitive and unintelligible.” Her entire life story is one case of attention getting fraud after the next. Cannabis is just the latest unsuspecting victim of this media whore.

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But don’t take my word for it….Take Cheryl’s. Here is a link to a legal under oath deposition that she gave in 2008 where she admits she is a multiple felon for her role in fraudulent activities and makes NO MENTION of medical cannabis when asked about her medical history, even though this is after she claims to have “cured herself.” Here is that link: http://www.lukeford.net/Images/photos/janedoecheryl.txt

THE REPORTER: You do solemnly swear that the testimony you will give in the cause now pending will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MS. SHUMAN: So help me God, yes.

So we establish this is under oath and so help her God, whoever that may be….

She goes on to tell of her medical condition:

Q-   Okay. Could you tell us what your medical condition is at present time, as you understand it?

A-   All of the conditions?

Q-   As best you can describe those conditions.

A-   I had ovarian cancer. I have advanced — or acute pulmonary histoplasmosis, high blood 16 pressure. Those are the main things.

Q-   Have you taken any medication –

A-   Today?

Q — within the last 24 hours.

A-   Yes, I have.

Q-   Can you tell us what medication that is?

A-   Yes. I take Synthroid for hypothyroid or something; it’s Synthroid. I take Vanasipril [phonetic] for my high blood pressure. And I have  to take Primarin, which is a hormone, because I had to have a radical hysterectomy.

Notice ZERO mention of medical cannabis being taken and the admission that her ovaries were removed in a radical hysterectomy…a far cry from curing herself with cannabis oil. She states she was told her cancer was terminal, yet makes no mention of her taking cannabis to “cure” it in any way whatsoever. In 2010 at a public meeting she claims to have liver cancer and that she is in need of a transplant. No mention of that here….or ever again for that matter.

I establish this baseline fact because it shows that her M.O. is to gain notoriety through saying she cured her cancer with cannabis, when in all reality that is just physically impossible. How do you cure cancer in an organ that was removed? It establishes a sense of fraud in the way she explains her personal cannabis story, but if we go on in the deposition we can see where she admits her fraud and cannot even remember how many felonies she has been charged with in the past.

Here is that:

Q- Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

A-   Yes, I have.

Q-   And how many times have you been convicted of a felony?

A- I don’t know.

Q-   You don’t know?

A-   I don’t know. I’ve never seen the records.

Q-   Okay. Possibly more than twice?

A-   I don’t think so.

Q-   To your understanding can you describe the that you’ve had that you would consider a felony?

A- Could — I’m sorry. Could you say the 12 question again?

Q-   Yes. What felonies have you been convicted of, to your understanding?

A- To my understanding?

Q-   Correct.

A-   I went underground after this whole situation blew up and I lived under another identity. And when I signed to get a passport and a driver’s license, I signed the DMV records under penalty of perjury or something that the foregoing was true and correct. That’s my understanding.

Q-   And where were you arrested for that; what 25 city?

A-   I think it was in Beverly Hills. There was a Beverly Hills arrest and then there was another  arrest at the Barrington Plaza.

Q- And what was the arrest at the Barrington 5 Plaza involving?

A-   Basically the same thing where I was under another identity.

Q- So you were arrested twice in two separate incidents for false identity?

A- That’s correct.

Q-   And did you spend any time in jail?

A-   Yes, I did.

Now what kind of liar cannot even recall when she was arrested or how many felonies she had? It is also funny to think that she would be arrested AND JAILED simply for hiding her identity from her attackers. That is bullshit. She had fake identities to commit fraud and was busted for it….

And she cannot even remember how long she was in jail for? Huh?

Q-   And what about the Barrington? Did you spend any time in jail?

A Yes.

Q-   How much time in jail?

A-   I honestly don’t remember.

Q-   Was it more than a month?

A-   I think so.

Q-   More than six months?

A-   No.

Q-   Less than six months?

A-   Less than six months.

Bizarre, right? If you read the entire deposition it is nuts. She accuses Steven Seagal of wanting to have sex with her and “aggressively” pursuing her after working with him for many years. She says when she came forward to report it she was attacked in her parking garage. Then she accuses Beverly Hills PD of being in on the whole thing. She states she was beat up and raped by two people dressed as police officers and that there was blood all over her apartment. She then accuses the Beverly Hills PD of breaking in her apartment and cleaning up the crime scene to hide it. This causes her to flee and change her identity….but then she returns. She is then busted for the false identity and was apparently in jail for more than a month but less than 6 months as a result.

Does it sound UNBELIEVABLE? That is because it fucking is. She is a fucking liar and a con-artist.

You can almost hear the person giving the deposition laugh, as she tries to spin this tale. Her staggered recollection of events is almost comical. She can remember mundane details in some areas, but cannot recall simple things like where, or how long she was in jail for. Crazy, right?

I bring all this up to establish a pattern of bizarre and fraudulent behavior aimed at seeking fame and fortune.

Enter cannabis.

When Cheryl began to make herself known in cannabis circles was just about the same time media began giving positive attention to our cause. It is no coincidence that she suddenly became “cured from cancer” with cannabis. It was an easy in, and who would question it? She pulled at the heartstrings of this community, and eventually the press, to gain notoriety as “the Martha Stewart of Marijuana.” She managed to work her way into cannabis circles and spent a lot of time running around taking pictures with anyone in the cannabis industry to give herself some credibility….which is why any time someone questions her validity she answers with some picture of Jack Herer and a statement saying, “See. Jack was my friend. Jack wouldn’t hang out with frauds, would he?” It is pathetic.

So in October this situation boiled over and I wrote a piece called “Cheryl Shuman is Full of Shit.” The piece was written after learning of her continued fraudulent behavior and her willingness to use unsuspecting families with sick kids for her own personal gain became apparent. I could no longer sit quietly by and watch this fraud try to become the spokesmodel for an industry I had spent most of my adult life working to develop. Her behavior was disgusting, and becoming more and more difficult to ignore.

After writing the piece I was contacted by literally hundreds of people who thanked me for having the courage to write it. My piece gave comfort to those who had felt scared to speak up in fear of what this crazy person might do to them. What followed was more people willing to stand up and share their experiences with her fraud and manipulation.

Then came the public downfall of Moms for Marijuana, and my development of a group called Parents 4 Pot. Here is a piece I wrote on that situation called “The Real Housewives of Marijuana…Another Failing Cheryl Shuman Joint.” This piece exposed her work to undermine this group and use their exposure for her gain. She was successful in co-opting the organization and making it her own. She now uses their platform of 50k followers to spew her crap and create false support from unsuspecting followers. It is sad, and extremely calculated.

In response to this, #bitchface went on HuffPost Live and completely lost her fucking mind, accusing me of being an armed robber, smoking weed in the car with my kids, doing meth, and going to prison for raping “school-aged” girls who I drugged with my medical marijuana candy. Here is that video for those who missed it:

This is a very serious deal. None of the bizarre commentary she presents here is even remotely true. She lost her fucking mind on a national media broadcast for everyone to see and tried to use her platform to destroy my reputation, and defame, my family, my children, and my organization.

She has continued her crazy person attacks, including her continued recent attacks on the parents of Brave Mykayla, a young girl fighting cancer in Oregon. Because these parents came forward and had the courage to tell the story of how she manipulated them and used them for personal gain for a lousy $49.95 donation based on lies and bullshit, she has turned her sights on them. She is now publicly accusing them of doing meth and intentionally making their child sick to benefit from donations. Just like her bizarre tales of Steven Seagal and the Beverly Hills PD conspiring to attack, rape, and destroy her, she is spinning tall tales to try and save her reputation and existence in this industry.

She called the police on Brave Mykayla’s folks the other night and is threatening them with a CPS investigation. She has lost her fucking mind. She even gave me another meth shout out yesterday too. LOL:

shuman.mickey.methlie.1

If anyone thinks for a minute that I am going to “forgive and forget” on the shit she is pulling, you are crazier than her. It ain’t gonna happen.

It is over when she is gone, and not a moment before.

She can cry and kick and scream all she wants. She can try to play on the emotions of her followers and demonize me and those I associate with. She can set herself on fire in protest for all I give a shit….I promise you I will not stop my criticism and exposure of her fraud anytime ever. Sorry.

So for those of you who just want this to “go away.” It is simple. It goes away when she does.

What you should be doing is working to get rid of her. Cut off her support networks. Inform people of her fraud. Boycott and condemn companies, individuals, and organizations that support her. Speak up when she makes and appearance. Do not let her go anywhere without hearing the term “fraudulent #bitchface.” Make sure she is not welcome anywhere in this industry and that she can no longer make her living taking advantage of a young and immature industry. Continue to question her integrity at every step. Do not let her find comfort anywhere. If you do, you will be on my shitlist.

If we all stand up and do this SHE WILL LEAVE. She is a parasite. Parasites need a viable organism to feed off of to survive. If we ensure she is not able to sink her claws into the good people of this movement, and her avenues of exposure and wannabe-fame dry up, she will look for a different group of suckers. But as long as stupid people int this industry and movement throw her a bone in hopes of hooking their pathetic wagon to her falling star, she will continue to exist.

As long as she still exists in this movement, you will be hearing from me and others about it. You can be sure of it.

So you want it all to stop? Then do your part to get rid of this cancer. Let’s perform that radical hysterectomy on everything that is Cheryl Shuman and remove her from this industry. Anything less is just unacceptable to me.

Now enjoy this little dance routing from your favorite mom for marijuana circa 2007 when she supposedly had cancer.

 

Weed Activist

Even More Legal By Summer

January 27, 2014 in End the Drug War, I Like Weed, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

for sale

This thing is ending and the wheels of change are moving rapidly.

Last year I made the prediction that the Obama administration would stand down on adult-use legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington in a piece I entitled “Legal By Summer.” My theory was that the overwhelming votes for cannabis freedom in these states and the growing support for weed across the nation would lead to the USDOJ standing down on these laws and enforcement of the industry.

On August 29, 2013 (still summer) the USDOJ issued a memo that declared the administration would not interfere with strictly regulated state programs as long as providers did not violate these 8 priorities, which would trigger enforcement:

  1. Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors; (Cool with that)
  2. Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels; (Cool with that)
  3. Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states; (Extra cool with that. Why? Because defining the difference in diversion from states where it is legal to those where it is not seemingly opens the door for interstate commerce from states where it is legal to other states where it is legal, no? Maybe wishful thinking, but I am an optimist.)
  4. Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity; (Cool with that. stay off the dope)
  5. Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana; (Cool with that, hate violence and guns.)
  6. Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use; (Cool with that. even WA states flawed DUI bill has not resulted in mass arrests…just Seattle PD handing out Doritos at Hempfest)
  7. Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and (Cool with that. If I gotta pay rent, so do you)
  8. Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property. (Cool with that. I was in Yosemite the other day burning fat joints and no one seemed to notice or care. The world has changed)

I wrote about the memo in detail in a piece entitled “The World Has Changed. Act like it already.“ In this piece I recognize and celebrate the administration’s efforts to find a way to let cannabis programs exist in conjunction with Federal law prohibiting cannabis for any application- medical, legal, or even hemp. It was a revolutionary memo that is certain to allow the space needed for real and meaningful change.

On January 1st of this year we saw the non-action of the administration translate into the first ever legal cannabis weed transaction for an adult over 21 in the history of the nation. The phenomena grabbed international press attention and has continued to erode the arguments against legalization every day that the program exists and the sky does not fall. The results have been amazing.

As I predicted, the mere lack of enforcement and the room to implement these programs without interference has changed the world. Now we see states putting forth legislation to legalize cannabis at feverish rates. It is only January and nearly a dozen states have announced some sort of effort to legalize weed in their states, including conservative strongholds like Oklahoma and Wisconsin. There is no denying that the world has changed for real.

So here we are in one of the most interesting and evolutionary times in cannabis history, and I do not see the toothpaste getting put back in the tube any time soon. It is all downhill from here.

So much so I am ready to make another prediction…..#EVENMORELEGALBYSUMMER.

I predict in the coming months through the summer of 2014 we will see something amazing. We will see a rapid movement by law enforcement, public officials, and communities to get on the right side of history. With mid-term elections happening and a lot at stake lawmakers and officials will have to move quickly to establish their position as leaders on this issue. We have already seen some bold statements coming out from some of the most conservative politicos in the nation, setting the table for the fall of prohibition.

Check out what ultra-conservative dingbat Texas Governor Rick Perry said just this last week:

“After 40 years of the war on drugs, I can’t change what happened in the past. What I can do as the governor of the second largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keeps people from going to prison and destroying their lives, and that’s what we’ve done over the last decade,” Perry said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Or this gem by New Jersey Governor and GOP presidential hopeful Chris Christie:

We will end the failed war on drugs that believes that incarceration is the cure of every ill caused by drug abuse. We will make drug treatment available to as many of our non-violent offenders as we can and we will partner with our citizens to create a society that understands that every life has value and no life is disposable.”

The call for an end to prohibition and the drug war is happening on many fronts and is growing louder by the day. It is inevitable that this thing is over. Where we are now is working out the details. Even the most staunch prohibitionist losers are ready to admit weed will be legal. Their new plan is to try to make it super restrictive and overly burdensome in the area of regulations.

Even the President himself had the courage to admit the obvious this week….”that cannabis is no more dangerous than alcohol.” Here was his statement in an interview with the New Yorker magazine:

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” Obama told the New Yorker.

Given where we are just weeks into the new year, I am confident that we will see incredible and sweeping change in the area of cannabis reform this year. I predict we will see at least one, if not several, states have the courage to pass a legalization law through a state legislative process. I think a domino effect will happen, and several more states will follow suit and begin the steps towards adult use weed. I believe that marijuana will become a corner stone of the election cycle, and we will see a shift where the popular position is actually FOR cannabis, after decades of the tough on drugs mentality that has enabled the evils of the drug war. I believe we will see a move to reschedule cannabis for medical purposes at the federal level to allow for research and development of cannabis medicines. I think by this time next year we will be talking seriously about passing new adult-use cannabis legislation at the Federal level after the elections.

When I say EVEN MORE LEGAL BY SUMMER, I mean a lot less people will be heading for jail and our society will really make a move towards acceptance and understanding of cannabis. The myths that have kept cannabis illegal for so many years are dying a painful death, as responsible adults use cannabis legally with little or no harm. We still have a hell of a lot of work to do, I might go as far as saying even more than ever as we must defend cannabis freedom in a legal and confusing environment. But nobody said it was going to be easy.

There is no mistaking that the ground has shifted beneath our feet. We see the best and the worst of our industry on display as people position themselves for a legal cannabis market. The hucksters are out in full force looking for their piece of the pie. Our opposition will fight us to the death to maintain their status quo…but alas, this is going to end and we will move past cannabis prohibition as a society.

#EVENMORELEGALBYSUMMER

Weed Activist

Why do we put so many people in jail in the US?

January 22, 2014 in ACTION ALERTS, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, Mass Incarceration, Messaging, Weed Freedom

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This is an excellent video that spells out the evils of mass incarceration and how the war on drugs has led to us locking up more of our own citizens than the entire rest of the world. That is sad. We must change and evolve. Watch the video and be educated. Let it depress you and make you angry, and then do something to put an end to this madness.

 

Weed Activist

It is not me. It is YOU.

January 19, 2014 in ACTION ALERTS, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Messaging, Reform Groups, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom

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.

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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.

Weed Activist

Weed is here. You should just get over it.

January 13, 2014 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Messaging, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Love, Weed Politics

Get-over-it

It is a little sad and a little funny to watch people come to grips with the fact that WEED IS LEGAL some places, and will BE LEGAL EVERYWHERE soon.

It is a testament to drug war propaganda that we are even having this conversation. The reason cannabis is catching on so rapidly is because anyone who takes a close look at it, or God forbid has ever tried it, know that all the crap these prohibitionists have been feeding the public for decades are bold-faced lies. All of the myths and misinformation about weed are being disproved in real time. People are openly using weed and no one is dying, or ruining their lives. In fact, many people seem pretty happy and relaxed. Some even seem downright healthy (gasp).

Like I said, I am amazed we still have so much to overcome; but the drug warriors did one hell of a number on our society with their “tough on drug crime” bullshit. At some point the propaganda changed the American dialogue to one of fear and loathing. We allowed for a few connected people to push lies about marijuana into our society, and convince the world that a safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant was evil. We allowed them to pass laws that have been used to cripple poor and minority communities. These laws have filled our bloated and corrupt prison industrial complex beyond capacity at a rate of 5x the rest of the world….and we have all just stood by and watched.

I am not sure where our “free” and “just” culture got so twisted that we believed it was our duty to invade people’s lives violently for things they choose to put in their own bodies. You want to talk “big government?” How about some government official kicking your door down, searching through all of your property, arresting you, taking your belongings, kidnapping your kids, and making you lose your job over some weed, which is by far safer than other legal substances on the market? If that is not some big government socialist bullshit I am not sure what is.

Then there is the matter of drug testing. How incredibly humiliating is this process as a civilized society? We hire a person to do a job for us and the first thing we do is ask them to submit their body fluids for a chemistry tests so that we can see what they are up to on their own free time? WTF? I do not think that is a great way to start any relationship. “Nice to meet you. Pee in this cup for me.” Huh? You want me to whip out my penis and fill a cup with my urine? For real? It seems so bizarre to me. when did this become good policy?

But somehow this is where we are as a society. It is out of control.

If our local police get a tip that a person is growing some weed plants they get a warrant from some drug warrior judge and drive a tank filled with armed gunmen to people’s neighborhood to subdue people for gardening. Doesn’t this seem a little heavy handed? Couldn’t we try knocking first at least? Or more so, don’t we have a lot of better things to do? Are all of the rapists and murderers off the streets? No? Then why are we kicking in the doors of gardeners again? Why are we wasting our resources on this shit?

It is unclear how long this transition period will be. It could go quickly, or it could be drawn out for decades. A lot depends on how much bullshit we are willing to endure, I suppose. How many people will we allow to tell these lies of gateway theories and non-existent dangers? How much will those who have gotten rich ruining other’s lives for their personal choices double down on their failed actions? Will those interests who stand to lose the most unleash their political powers to retard this evolution, or is the momentum too much for them to stop? Can we effectively get our message out and overcome the lies and misinformation of it all? Can we make people understand that weed is awesome, and certainly not a crime?

There are a lot of questions to be answered. What is certain is that WEED IS HERE.

To watch folks try to argue the failed points of yesterday is just embarrassing. The few idiots that continue to take the hard-line prohibition position are sad and pathetic. It is like even they do not believe their own bullshit any more. If I hear Kevin Sabet and Patrick Kennedy roll out their “big marijuana is the boogie man” schpeel again I might just puke. These folks lack conviction because they know what they are doing is just wrong. They cannot even look people in the eye any longer. They just read their ill-conceived  talking points and try to appease their overlords of prohibition. History will not be kind to these types.

They need to just get over it, and get to the difficult job of figuring out how the entire thing is going to work. Wasting time trying to continue this madness is unacceptable You lost. Go home, losers.

Weed is here and you should really just get over it. It is not too late. It is easy….Just quit being an asshole and understand that cannabis is safe and effective for a lot of people. If it is not your thing, then super….more for us. But quit searching my car because I smell funny, okay? I like weed and I am a good person.

So what? We smoke weed….

Weed Activist

Be Ready for Anything

January 9, 2014 in Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Messaging, Uncategorized, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom

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If there is one thing I am learning about the end of prohibition is that ANYTHING can and will happen.

So how do we prepare for chaos and confusion? What can we do to make sure we are focused and on point in the midst of all this awkward positioning and showmanship? How do we continue to keep our eyes on cannabis freedom through all of the attempts to lay claim to sectors of the cannabis industry? Or better yet, why should we?

Let’s look at it from a big picture perspective. Cannabis has been criminally illegal for decades. We have spent the better part of the last 40 years aggressively locking up people for weed, taking their kids, searching and stealing their property, and making lesser citizens out of those who choose weed. Through this evil time in history, cannabis outlaws have carried the plant through its darkest days. Over the past decade we have seen a renaissance of “the cannabis industry,” as more and more acceptance has been gained. We now are in a strange vortex between legal and illegal weed, where the hucksters and the charlatans play.

The market is still unregulated and unchecked enough for the snake oil salesman to do their thing. They are out in force making their wild claims and talking suckers out of their money.  There are the big business charlatans who are trying to make you believe their penny stocks are a real bargain. There are the crappy shyster grower/producers who are trying to convince some big money sucker to invest in their nightmare based on their successful closet garden. You have the wannabe business mogul dispensary operators trying to manipulate markets with their petty funds and fancy lawyers. Throw in a few self-proclaimed experts who have never grown or sold a crumb of weed in their life, and what you have is the Huckster Cannabis Circus.

As an activist, this is dicey terrain. There are all sorts of people standing around pretending to be your ally who are really only here for the payout. That’s right….I said it. Look around you. At least one in five of the people you see around you could give a shit about weed beyond how much money it can make them. They are good at talking the activist game and delivering bullshit talking points; but at the end they care less about cannabis freedom than they do about just enough freedom to get them paid and no one else. They will befriend you with only the goal of destroying you and distracting you. They want your money and they will do what it takes to get that when the time comes.

I am not one to fall for the great call for “unity” that we see from folks in the industry. To me, UNITY means “shut up and do not say anything about the people who are fucking us over from the inside.” This is our most dangerous area of play, and unfortunately the one that is most often overlooked. We do not really do internal housekeeping in the cannabis movement. People wander right in completely unchecked, and if they have enough money they get a fancy Board of Directors position on a major organization and begin to weasel their way into positions that they are neither fit for, nor deserving of. It is a sad state of affairs.

If any0ne dare to be critical, then the wagons are circled and the cry for “UNITY” comes out. Those who do not like being bent over from within are being cast off as troublemakers in hopes that the huckster promises are true. The reality is that everyone is a suspect, and even the best soldier can be tempted by promises of riches and security. It is hard to say at what point people are willing to sell-out their morals and values for beads and trinkets…but some certainly are.

Everything you think you know and understand is changing and moving. In this period of transitional flux there will be madness. Morals will be bought and paid for. Ethics are sold on the open market. People are positioning themselves for the next big thing, and more times than not have forgotten about what we are doing here.

STILL JUST ABOUT A PLANT AND SOME FREEDOM.

The really sad part is that what we see now is pretty far from reality. The “big money” we see running around the industry buying up activists and weedlebrities are really just a drop in the bucket of what is coming. These folks are chumps compared to the money that is lurking on the horizon. Do not get enamored by these dog and pony shows…most will be a distant memory five years down the road.

But until the playing field is truly level, BE READY FOR ANYTHING. Assume there are no rules and that everyone is playing for keeps. It is sad, but necessary. As the industry emerges back into our society from the darkness, there will be a serious game of high-stakes poker happening. You can decide if you want to double down or not….but if it all goes terribly wrong and the clowns end up running off with your hard-earned money, do not say you weren’t warned.

Weed Activist

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

January 1, 2014 in ACTION ALERTS, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Medical Cannabis, Messaging, Reform Groups, Support, Uncategorized, Vote Weed, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Love, Weed Politics

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

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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.

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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:

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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?

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