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Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Unfortunately the high hopes we all had going for Prop 19 wasn’t quite enough to beat the capitalist nature of California.  I think the two major pitfalls on the voters side were those who just couldn’t get over the cannabis taboo and those who feel that it is more profitable to them now than if it were to be legalized.

Now I’m going to take a wild guess that the majority of those who voted no on 19 fell into the cannabis taboo side. As history shows the only way to destroy a taboo is to bring it to the mainstream, or normalize it within our society.

So this is why I say smoke proud people! Don’t try to hide what is an important part of our culture. Our friends and families have grown cannabis and harvested it for fibers and medicine for generations, as have the entire human race for as far back as history can show us. If the public and those opposed political figures become accustomed to the safe and responsible use of cannabis they will eventually see the stupidity and utter irresponsibility that is the prohibition of cannabis.

On that note, check out Zach Galifianakis on Bill Maher. This is what I’m talking about. Dude smokes a joint during the discussion, no big deal. He’ll be going home after to his family or whatever, probably pick up pizza on the way and some desert.. maybe a pie or some peaches and ice cream..

Apparently Bill Maher told Wolf Blitzer that “If it was a real joint, Wolf, I would have smoked it, I think it was cloves or something,”

Anyways my point is that the more of this that goes on, the more people will have to accept it or be left behind.

Check out the video, I’m guessing the dragons are the scaley looking politicians on the other side of the table?

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Today I’ve chosen to waiver a bit from my usual cannabis related writings to touch on another subject I feel very strongly about which is the current state of the United States “Justice” system.

I’ll start with the details of my specific case and then get to the points I’d like to touch on. Through my experience growing up in San Jose, CA I have seen countless numbers of my friends fall victim to the outdated and destructive laws of the California prison system. I myself have been nearly bankrupted by court fees, lawyer fees, fines, court ordered classes and in my specific situation airfare between Vancouver where I live and California where I was committed for a first offense DUI. I am currently working at firearm training facility for which I am required to pay 20$ a day for the privilege of spending 8 hours being disrespected and having orders I don’t understand barked at me by over supplemented and or overweight police officers. As far as I’m concerned this is no less than slavery I am forced to buy myself into.

Now let me explain the process through which ordinary citizens are forced into poverty and crime. The laws set up by our government are designed to force people into the prison system and keep them there. When an individual such as myself, either by misfortune or poor judgement, commits a “crime” as defined by the state they are given two choices either prison or bankruptcy. Let me mention that about two days ago while at my work site I found that the jail I could have been in was just locked down for a series of stabbings with one death, which leans my decision towards the bankruptcy rather than the possible death. Now If you so choose to stay out of prison, and hopefully alive, they take you for every bit of money you can afford or not afford to pay them. If you can not afford to pay your fees out right then the state collection agency holds the right to take your paychecks in full until you have payed your debt. Now the biggest issue with this is the fact that if you are in fact convicted of a felony it makes willful employment damn near impossible and leaves you with the mentality of “why fight for a job if they’re just gonna take the money”. With the current state of economy and the lack of jobs in the state of California there are little to no employers who are willing to pick a convicted felon over the abundance of alternatives. Now this means that even if you so choose to try to rejoin society as a law abiding and contributing member the state will continue to rape you for what little capital you have to live by. This leaves only a few options for these people to ever support themselves or their families which the easiest and most obvious options include the sale of drugs or theft related crimes. Now if you have been convicted of a felony you will also have been assigned a parol officer who’s sole purpose in life is to catch you if you ever commit another criminal offense. This means that when you do you will be forced straight back into the vicious circle that is the California system and effective establishing not only California but the entire United States as a prison state.

You would think that the key purpose of the prison system would be to rehabilitate criminals, however from my experience it does simply the opposite. For myself, had I chosen to pay my time in jail rather than the work program, it would have been an advanced education in drugs and crime to spend 30 days with the criminals in the Alameda County jail. I would be sent in as a young man who made a mistake one night while drunk, and come out scarred and bitter with the knowledge and experience of those in there who wish to share their tales. Not to mention that about two days ago while at my work site I found that the jail I could have been in was just locked down for a series of stabbings with one death.

Our government has gone too far with their punishments, as I see my friends and families being pushed further in to ghettos and forced into poverty I know that it is time for a change. I know that it is time that our government sets up a system to help further the progress of our citizens and society. Its time that we abolish these ridiculous three strike laws and jail time for non violent offenders. Why lock someone up who is of no threat to the general population? The current system is destroying our communities and our country and we need to see a change before our once prosperous cities fall into conditions beyond repair. For we know what happens when governments take everything from their citizens, the only possible outcome is a civil uprising and ultimately a revolution.

Please write your politicians, let them know of the injustices being performed and taken out on otherwise law abiding citizens. The laws should be put in place to protect the people, not destroy them. Whatever it is that you have seen as an injustice we have to be made known. So please, please write to your officials and push for change; or we will see the true power of the people united against their government.

“The people should not fear their government, The government should fear their people.”

I take this quote very strongly to heart, and I think its time that we show the government just what it is that they need to be afraid of. They need to be afraid of what they are doing to us, because we can only bend over and take it for so long.

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Spread the Word! Get out and Vote!

Yesterday in California the initiative to legalize marijuana passed and is set to be voted on for the november ballot!

With Californians already showing 65% support for the legalization in recent polls things seem to be looking up for our hero for the first time in a long long while. Check out the full story from the the LA Times here:

Measure to legalize Marijuana will be on California’s November Ballot

An initiative to legalize marijuana and allow it to be sold and taxed will appear on the November ballot, state election officials announced Wednesday, triggering what will probably be a much-watched campaign that once again puts California on the forefront of the nation’s debate over whether to soften drug laws.

The number of valid signatures reported by Los Angeles County, submitted minutes before Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline, put the measure well beyond the 433,971 it needed to be certified. Supporters turned in 694,248 signatures, collecting them in every county except Alpine. County election officials estimated that 523,531 were valid.

Next step is to get out there and vote Californians!! I’m up in Vancouver at the moment but I will be sending in my absentee ballot via mail! If we all get out there and vote this time its for real!

Peace and keep blowing your smoke proud people, soon we’ll be able to do it free!

~ The Hempen Journeyman

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Marc's Final Farewell with his wife Jodie by his side.

Marc's Final Farewell with his wife Jodie by his side.

It has been just over two months since my last post and I’m really sorry that this has to be my first post back.

Today was a sad day for so many people as we watched Marc Emery, the leader of the BC Marijuana party and the self proclaimed “Prince of Pot”  head in to the Supreme Court of BC to be sentenced for marijuana trafficking to the United States. He will be taken today after his hearing and held in a BC prison until the extradition order is signed and Marc is shipped to some US federal prison.

The throng of people crowded outside the courts today here in Vancouver to hear Marc and Jodie give their final press conference together before Marc’s five year sentence was inspiring. We all gathered at 9:00 this morning, some of us missing work, some skipping school and other travelling in from all over the the greater Vancouver area to show their love an support for not only Marc, but for his wife Jodie as well who will continue his work in his absence.

At the end of the press conference everyone said their final farewells with hugs and tears as we saw Marc off into the courthouse. I hope everyone out there will look at this situation and realize that this ridiculous war on drugs has just destroyed another family by tearing a husband from his wife for the sale of a plant.

Today for the first time in my life I am not proud to be a Canadian because of the lack of respect and support our government has shown for this honest, hard working and inspiring man who by our laws has committed no crime. The fact that our own Vancouver Police Department conspired and worked along side the DEA allowing them not only into our country, but into our city to destroy a man we all love.

All I can hope is that this ordeal will bring some coverage to the issue of prohibition and show that Marc who has done no damage to anyone has been wrongfully persecuted by the United States government and that cannabis has no victims. The only victims are those of the prohibition.

To Marc and Jodie, I hope only the best for your both. Stay strong and you both can get through this knowing that your sacrifice has not been in vain, the legalization movement will continue to grow and that someday your lost liberties and happiness will be returned to you both.

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So guys its been a little while due to me being real busy finishing up school and living the life up here in Vancouver. The sun’s been shining and I’ve been out enjoying the gorgeous pacific northwest so I haven’t been inside with the computer much.

But for this news I am sitting and hacking away at the keys to spread the news that Oakland has passed a new ordinance that raises the tax paid on the sale of medical marijuana. This is great news for the simple fact that it brings a solid legitimacy to the sale of marijuana. Oakland is now the nation’s first city to directly tax the herb and support the sale of medical marijuana.

The city set at 1.8% tax on medical marijuana sold in the city. This tax is expected to raise at least $400,000 and perhaps more that $1 million annually according to the wall street journal. The city of Oakland is currently suffering from a 83 million dollar shortcoming on a $455 million budget.

About 80% of voters backed the marijuana tax and with the backing of the oakland city council, this legislation shows just how widespread the acceptance of the normalization of cannabis really is.

With the polls showing  56%  of californians in support of legalization and taxation, this experimental tax of cannabis is exactly what other politicians need to show them that legalization and taxation can really help with the state deficit.

Legalize 2010

Legalization 2010!!! For AB390 to pass californians are going to have to band together and gather enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

Lets go fellow Californians!!! I wish I could be down there doing my part alas I am living up here in the north and can’t.

Check out news on CNN Politics HERE

Peace, and keep blowing that smoke proud.

~ The Hempen Journeyman

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Great News from Rhode Island!  – Sourced from CannabisNews.org

Providence, R.I. — Weeks after legalizing the sale of marijuana to sick people, lawmakers have voted to explore how much Rhode Island might collect in revenue if it were to make all sales of marijuana legal and impose a “sin tax” of $35 per ounce.

During the General Assembly’s aborted rush to adjournment Friday, the Senate approved a resolution — introduced earlier the same day — to create a nine-member special commission to study a swath of issues surrounding marijuana.

Among them: “The experience of individuals and families sentenced for violating marijuana laws … The experience of states and European countries, such as California, Massachusetts and the Netherlands, which have decriminalized the sale and use of marijuana.”

The sponsors of the eleventh-hour measure — which requires no further action — include Senators Joshua Miller, D-Cranston; Leo Blais, R-Coventry; Rhoda Perry, D-Providence; Charles Levesque, D-Portsmouth, and Susan Sosnowski, D-South Kingstown.

In a brief interview Wednesday, Miller said the resolution was sparked by the referendum-driven move to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in Massachusetts, and by what he perceives as “a national trend towards decriminalization.” In November 2008, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, making getting caught with less than an ounce of pot punishable by a civil fine of $100.

Asked why he waited until what was to be the last day of the session to introduce the measure, Miller said he and his fellow sponsors felt it was “very important” for this study to be “defined as an issue” completely separate and apart from the passage — over Governor Carcieri’s veto — of legislation allowing the creation of state-regulated dispensaries to sell marijuana for medicinal use.

Miller said it also “took that long for it to be taken seriously.”

The resolution creates a “Special Senate Commission to Study the Prohibition of Marijuana” made up of “elected members of the Rhode Island Senate, local law enforcement officials, physicians, nurses, social workers, academic leaders in the field of addiction studies, advocates or patients in the state’s medical marijuana program, advocates working in the field of prisoner reentry, economists, and members of the general public.”

The measure poses a number of specific questions for study, among them: “Whether and to what extent Rhode Island youth have access to marijuana despite current laws prohibiting its use. … Whether adults’ use of marijuana has decreased since marijuana became illegal in Rhode Island in 1918. … Whether the current system of marijuana prohibition has created violence in the state of Rhode Island against users or among those who sell marijuana. … Whether the proceeds from the sales of marijuana are funding organized crime, including drug cartels. … Whether those who sell marijuana on the criminal market may also sell other drugs, thus increasing the chances that youth will use other illegal substances.”

The resolution also cites questions about the “dangers associated with marijuana resulting from it being sold on the criminal market, including if it is ever contaminated or laced with other drugs.”

The panel has until Jan. 31, 2010, to report its findings and recommendations to the Senate, though it would stay alive through Jan. 31, 2014.

Miller, a bar owner who says he does not use illegal drugs — or even drink liquor more than a few times a year — said he is not hoping or expecting any specific outcome. “I am more open-minded that that,” he said. “I am hoping to react to the best research and data we can get out of looking at it.”

A year ago, Carcieri vetoed a joint House and Senate call for a study of the wisdom of creating state-regulated marijuana dispensaries.

But “since this was only a Senate resolution, it does not come to the governor for his approval,” Carcieri spokeswoman Amy Kempe said.

In February, one of the cosponsors, pharmacist Leo Blais, proposed a bill — The Sensible State Marijuana Policy Act — that would have decriminalized the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, reducing it to a civil offense for which anyone age 18 or older would face a $100 fine and forfeiture of the marijuana. The bill never made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

As of Wednesday, no person or group had formally applied for the license to run the first of the three marijuana dispensaries allowed by the so-called “compassion centers” bill.

Both the House and Senate have each passed, for the second year in a row, their own versions (S39 and H5007) of a bill to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes.

But no one version of the measure has yet cleared both chambers, in this year when the House and Senate went on hiatus, with no certain return date, and no final action on a bevy of high-profile bills.

Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)
Author: Katherine Gregg, Journal State House Bureau
Contact: letters@projo.com
Website: http://www.projo.com/

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Heads up people, big news coming out of the NBC Bay Area newsroom

The smokes a brewing in San Francisco! State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, introduced a resolution Monday urging the federal government to end medical marijuana raids in California.”

The measure, if passed, would also “let people 21 and older possess an ounce and grow plants as long as the ‘garden’ is no bigger than 5 by 5 feet.”
If this legislation were to pass, counties would then be able to tax and regulate it.

This is great news because this means that there is growing
political support for Tom Ammiano’s bill!
2010 is looking like its gonna be a big year for the cannabis legalization movement!
Read the Original Article Here HERE.

Keep posted people and keep blowing that smoke proud.
~The Hempen Journeyman

P.S. For those of you who notice the name change, I’ve took on the new title to signify the start of my physical as well as mental journey  further my knowledge  of the cannabis plant and the hemp industry.

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