Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fantastic Documentary on Cannabis.

Washington DC; Puffing the Magic Dragon - Legally

Although it will still be a few months before Washington DC begins allowing the sale of Medical Marijuana, a law has taken effect Tuesday July 27th authorizing up to eight dispensaries for the city. The Democratic controlled Congress declined to intervene.

The Dispensaries will be
  • forced to charge on a sliding scale so that the City's poorest receive their meds free.
  • more than 300 feet from a school
  • only able to grow 95 plants in any one location
  • paying a 6% Sales Tax
Although the city of Washington DC passed a referendum to allow medical marijuana in 1998 by 69% Congress has blocked the city from enacting it until now. By allowing this law to take effect Congress can be perceived as taking a much more positive stance on Cannabis.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cannabis Infographic

Should Medicinal Cannabis Smokers be Fired from their Jobs?

Medicinal cannabis smokers use the plant for a variety of ailments ranging from treating or preventing breast cancer, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, ADD and ADHD, arthritis, sclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, and hundreds of other conditions. Currently those who search for aid within the medicinal qualities of Cannabis are risking their jobs, careers, and livelihoods.

To date, 14 states have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana, which shield legal users from criminalization however it does not protect them from the penalties enforced by their employers. As more people are being prescribed marijuana across the nation, they are wrestling with a caveat: They could be fired.

Medical marijuana users are not considered a protected group. If a company so chooses, they can fire someone who uses medical marijuana, attorneys say. Labor law experts say most states operate this way, unless the employee has a specific employment contract that makes exceptions for medical marijuana use.

Only Michigan could be considered an exception. Part of Michigan's law, passed in 2008, does address employers, saying a patient carrying a medical marijuana card cannot be "denied any right or privilege" by a "business or occupational or professional licensing board."

The debate on whether employers can fire medical marijuana users comes at a time when more states are expected to legalize medical marijuana. At least 16 states are considering the legalizing medical marijuana during this legislative session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even states once considered to be conservative on drug policies, such as Kansas and Alabama, are reconsidering.

The push toward legalizing medical marijuana is gaining clout.

Without laws defending medical marijuana users from employers' drug policies, a growing number of medical marijuana users are being let go from their jobs, says Keith Stroup on the legal counsel team of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He said his office, headquartered in Washington, receives about 300 e-mails and phone calls a year from medical marijuana users who have been fired or had job offers rescinded because of a failed drug test.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Feds Say Veterans Can Use Medical Marijuana Now

The battle scarred veteran above will no longer have to take pills for his PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as the VA (Department of Veteran Affairs) on Friday July 23, 2010 made the groundbreaking decision that Veterans will be allowed to be treated with Cannabis in any of the 14 states that currently have Medicinal Marijuana laws in place.

By accepting Cannabis marijuana as medicine the VA is the first branch of the United States Government to admit the medical efficacy of the plant. This decision will surely be pressed and quoted by cannabis activists lobbying for legalization federally.

"Unfortunately, the policy still will not permit doctors at V.A. hospitals to authorize marijuana. However, it will address the worries of many veterans who legally use cannabis that they could lose access to their prescription paid medication if caught using pot.

Under V.A. rules, veterans can be denied pain medications and other prescriptions if they are found to be using illegal drugs, which until now has included marijuana. There will now be a written exception for medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

The old policy led many patients to distrust their doctors, veterans and advocates say. With both doctors and patients asking the veterans department for formal guidance, the agency began working on a policy last fall.

"When states start legalizing marijuana we are put in a bit of a unique position because as a federal agency, we are beholden to federal law," said Dr. Robert Jesse, the principal deputy undersecretary for health in the veterans department.

But at the same time, "We didn't want patients who were legally using marijuana to be administratively denied access to pain management programs."

Formalizing the rules on medical marijuana will eliminate future confusion and keep patients from being squeezed between state and federal law, according to Dr. Jesse." (Steve Elliott)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Biggest Legal Cannabis Crop in California

July 21, 2010
Oakland City Council has voted to allow and license four large marijuana cannabis farms to supply the four Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.  Although the council said that they would revisit the policies to consider smaller and medium sized growth operations, many are afraid that it will be too late as the large farms put the small growers out of work.

The farms are expected to open in January when the licenses are awarded. It is expected that commercial growers will flood the market with inexpensive, high yield, and fast growing strains in order to gain the largest profit margin possible. With the connoisseur spirit pushed aside for big business we may be in store for some crappy pot.

There are some great reasons for this to pass including a rash of recent home fires, robberies and even 2 murders related to the cultivation of cannabis. The new facility grow system would eliminate much of this concern as we move towards a "big-box, big-money [...] with deep pockets and political connections" type of system. (Burt, Oakland Tribune)

Council member Larry Reid, co-author of the cultivation ordinance said "aid there is nothing to prevent the small growers or collectives from banding together to apply for one of the four cultivation permits, but he thinks they would rather keep doing things the way they want, without regulations to cut into their profits."

Many are wondering how the feds will respond.

San Diego Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Raided by DEA

July 10, 2010 - Despite Obama's memo saying that the DEA will not enforce federal prohibition within California, the DEA continues to raid San Diego Collectives. Three collectives were raided today, the Green Kross, Unified Collecive, and Kush Lounge. Althought it has not been shown that these collectives were operating outside of the State law, they were all subjected to a SWAT style raid.

Money, Cannabis, and patient records have been seized, it is unclear at this time how the Feds plan to use the Patient Records, but it can be assumed that it is a bad thing to be on this shit list of names.

A recent San Diego Grand Jury encouraged local governments to follow through on implementing state law by regulating medical marijuana distribution facilities that provide needed medicine to patients throughout the county.

Both the County and City of San Diego are on the brink of approving regulatory ordinances for the medical marijuana distribution facilities within the area. Despite these efforts several federal raids have occurred within San Diego with the cooperation of the local law enforcement and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Each of these prior raids have since been jury acquitted as they were in full compliance with state law. This unreasonable disruption of legitimate business continues through the groundless prosecution of medical marijuana cases.

“These raids underscore the importance of developing a comprehensive federal policy on medical marijuana, which will also allow states to care for the health and welfare of their people without unnecessary federal interference,” said ASA Government Affairs Director Caren Woodson. “It is not the purview of the federal government to enforce local or state laws.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another San Diego Freedom Failure

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities raided four Pacific Beach homes today as part of a crackdown on marijuana cultivation in the area, arresting four suspected dealers and seizing hundreds of cannabis plants along with guns and stashes of cash.
Members of the multi-agency San Diego Narcotics Task Force served warrants simultaneously at three residences in the 1800 block of Law Street and one in the 2300 block of Chalcedony Street about 7 a.m., said Amy Roderick of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Each of the houses contained a "fairly sophisticated" indoor marijuana-growing operation, according to Roderick.
Taken into custody were Van Carter, 49, Gregory Michael Goodwin, 38, Ian McDonald, 31, and Guillermo Javier Perez, 46.
The men, all of whom surrendered peacefully, were expected to be booked on charges of cultivating cannabis and possessing the drug for sale.
The roughly 400 living plants were sufficient in size and number to produce about $350,000 worth of street-sale marijuana three or four times a year, Roderick said.
The task force, made up of personnel from local, state and federal agencies, also seized: -- about 10 pounds worth of harvested cannabis; -- nearly $30,000 in suspected drug proceeds

DEA Protest

Patients, Concerned Citizens, and Advocates will be at the Federal Courthouse at noon on July 21 to protest the DEA raids and the continued bias driven effort by local and federal authorities to subvert state law. Stop raiding patients, and let the state courts resolve state issues! PROTEST AGAINST DEA RAIDS AT NOON ON WED 7/21 FED CRT HOUSE 940 FRONT ST SAN DIEGO.

WHAT: Protest Against DEA Raids
WHEN: Wednesday, July 21 noon
WHERE: Federal Courthouse – 940 Front St. San Diego CA

Friday, July 16, 2010

Prop 19 = Bad??

This is a dangerous political battle we are fighting. 2010 Proposition 19, California State considers legalization of cannabis. But at what cost? Some argue
  
  1. “Medical Cannabis” is over. So are the caregivers, growers, and allowable amounts.
  2. Big business will be the only ones with enough money to buy the freedom to grow large amounts for distribution.
  3. Collectives will dissipate and disappear and the growers and distributors will be jailed for obscure pieces of the law.
  4. Enormous taxes will be placed on the cannabis to dissuade all operations but large operations.
  5. Chemicals will be infused into the cannabis which will “preserve” the marijuana cigarette additionally the potency will be greatly decreased to increase consumption.
  6. The industry will be totally and completely stripped from those currently at its lead who mostly are interested in quality and the health of their patients and be placed firmly in the hands of Phillip Morris (Who already owns 400 Acres in Northern California and has trademarked Marleys, in reference to the pot-smoking reggae legend Bob Marley)

High Times reported -- “Don't make the mistake of believing that the tobacco companies aren't poised to pounce on mass-produced commercial schwag. In 1993, Phillip Morris riled a trademark application for "Marley" brand cannabis cigarettes. Other tobacco companies registered such names as "Acapulco Gold" and "Red Leb," and in 1998, it was revealed that British American Tobacco had a secret plan to introduce cigarettes containing "subliminal" amounts of ganja if it were ever legalized.”

You may feel skeptical at this point that legalizing cannabis using Prop 19 is actually very detrimental to our cause as Cannabis believers. You may have a few points of your own, for instance;

  1. Everyone 21 and up can smoke a little and grow a little.
  2. Maybe this will stop the drug cartels from Mexico a little.
  3. Legalization is cool and progressive.
  4. Taxes collected off of the potheads will be great.


Now that we have examined either viewpoint and the reasons for and against. Let us see how this new law would affect court cases that have already occurred that now would have no legal ground in court. They would simply be another jailed criminal. Below are lawsuit cases that would be lost under proposition 19 just within the past two months. 


Pot growers file class action lawsuit against Tehama County - Colusa Sun-Herald | 8 Jun 10
Group challenges Tehama pot law - The Record Searchlight | 10 Jun 10
Medical Marijuana Dispensary Hails Court Ruling as Victory - Orange County Weekly | 5 Jul 10
2 Lake Forest Dispensaries Reopen - Orange County Weekly | 9 Jul 10
Blind woman's medical pot suit thrown out - Press Telegram | 14 Jul 10
Upland medical marijuana cases may hinge on Anaheim case - Contra Costa Times | 15 Jul 10



Dragonfly De La Luz a well known and respected Cannabis Culture writer observed;


“While amendments were made ostensibly to prevent the initiative from affecting current medical marijuana law, a careful reading of the initiative reveals that this is not, in fact, the case. Certain medical marijuana laws are exempt from the prohibitions the initiative would enact, while others are glaringly absent.
Cultivation is one such law that is noticeably non-exempt.[17] In spite of the fact that the tax cannabis Web site says otherwise, the only medical marijuana exemptions that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative actually makes are with regard to possession, consumption and purchase limits, which only ensure that patients would still be allowed to buy medicine at dispensaries. The word “cultivate” is conspicuously absent. Whereas today a person with a doctor’s recommendation has the right to grow up to an unlimited number of plants, the initiative would drastically reduce that number to whatever can fit in a 5’x5’ footprint (around 3-6 plants—per property, not per person). This will force many patients to resort to buying instead of growing their own medicine, because of the inconvenience caused by producing multiple grows a year rather than growing a year’s supply of medicine at one time, as many patients currently do outdoors. And growing indoors—which typically requires special grow lights, an increase in hydro use, and a lot of time and attention—is a comparatively expensive endeavor.
The initiative would further impact medical marijuana patients by banning medicating in the privacy of their own homes if there are minors present, as well as in public (currently perfectly legal[18])—an invaluable liberty to those with painful diseases who would otherwise have to suffer until they got home to relieve their pain.
Finally, the medical marijuana laws that are exempted from this initiative apparently only apply to cities. For medical marijuana patients who live in an area that has county or local government jurisdiction, according to a strict reading of the initiative, medical marijuana laws are not exempt.[19]”
Food for thought.

Here 2 other great resources, be sure to read the comments, they offer further perspective.

For Prop 19 - http://www.420magazine.com/forums/international-cannabis-news/124263-california-s-prop-19-word-word-analysis.html

Against Prop 19 - http://www.examiner.com/x-14883-Santa-Cruz-County-Drug-Policy-Examiner~y2010m7d16-Californias-Proposition-19-will-supersede-or-amend-its-medical-marijuana-laws

Thursday, July 15, 2010

BioChar - Good for plants, good for the environment?


How to make Biochar at home - Click Here

There is a lot of debate as to biochar's benefits for crops. Last month myself and one of the partners went to a conference on the Colorado university campus, the one in Boulder. Well, I was talking to a scientist from the FDA and he was saying that biochar's best hope for cost-effective crop enhancement is in potted plants. So that's what got us thinking of using this stuff to help grow the dankest dank!

It is supposed to increase plant growth while in vegetative and flowering/fruiting stages and increases yield on some plants up to 200% not to mention that it is good for the environment and soil!

"Biochar is considered by many scientists to be the "black gold" for agriculture. Its high carbon content and porous nature can help soil retain water, nutrients, protect soil microbes and ultimately increase crop yields while acting as natural carbon sink - sequestering CO2 and locking it into the ground. Biochar helps clean the air two ways: by preventing rotting biomass from releasing harmful CO2 into the atmosphere, and by allowing plants to safely store CO2 they pull out of the air during photosynthesis." (Azadeh Ansari, CNN)

Video of Documented BioChar Test

Support Propisition 19 to Legalize Marijuana




The guys over at TaxCannabis.org are helping legalize Marijuana use in the state of California and paving the way for nation wide legalization (tobacco states last of course).

This issue has become very political because the thought is that people who show up to vote on it are "progressive" and "progressive" people are democrats. Shortly after the California Democratic Party officially supported legalization the NAACP gave their official endorsement as well.

Please comment with any other large organizations that announce support of Prop 19. If you live in California sign up at http://www.taxcannabis.org/

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Can Felons Vote?

In the spirit of the upcoming Prop 19 November election in California for the legalization of cannabis, some people are probably asking, Can Felons Vote?

Legislature within 16 states have decided to allow felons to vote within the past decade. There is a trend towards a more true democracy as felons are given this opportunity. Although in most states the potential voter in question but be out of jail and off of parole, this is a step in the right direction.

These new laws are increasing the rate of voting within the black population due to their high incarceration rate. One in every 8 Black men were barred from voting.

It is said that although 5.3 Million Americans are not allowed to vote because of their criminal record, 600,000 individuals that could not vote ten years ago due to criminal records are now able to.

Only Maine and Vermont have truly forgiving laws creating no restrictions on their felons. Even those currently in jail are permitted and encouraged to vote. On the other hand Florida, Virginia, and Kentucky still have lifetime bans on voting by felons.

As for California, Felons may vote as long as they are not currently incarcerated or on parole! Everyone who can should vote!