Blog Archive

Friday, October 29, 2010

Snoop Dogg Makes Ad in Support of Prop 19

By Ron Crumpton

With Prop 19 trailing slightly in the polls, Snoop Dogg releases an ad in support of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.
Hit it Dogg!!!
In an ad sponsored by the League of Young Voters, Mr. Dogg encouraged people to get out and vote on November 2nd. At the end of the advertisement, he said “and on Prop 19,” he pauses and hits a blunt, “You know how I feel about that.”

If the funds are available to run this ad correctly, this could be a shot in the arm for the trailing ballot initiative.

Polls taken of likely voters could be in error. As I stated before, unlikely voters will be the deciding factor in the passage of Prop 19. These unlikely voters will come from the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket.

The public support of the measure by Snoop Dogg, will have an impact on that demographic.

All rappers and rock stars that support prop 19 should do so publicly. It is their fans who have the most to gain, and the most to lose, when it comes to the issue of legalization. They owe it to the fans. After all, their fans are the reason that they have multi-million dollar homes and private jets.

Colorado: El Paso County's Initiative to Ban Medical Marijuana Facilities to Remain on the Ballot

Judge Timothy Simmons
By Ron Crumpton

Colorado – El Paso District Court Judge Timothy Simmons ruled that the county’s ballot initiative, to ban all future and existing medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas, can remain on the ballot.

Sixteen medical marijuana businesses had filed suit to have the initiative removed from the ballot, but Judge Simmons ruled that it would be improper for the court to issue a pre-election judicial action.

“The electorate is entitled to believe that their votes will be counted, and they’ll know the results and that the election will mean something,” Simmons said in ruling.

The court’s ruling could provide a precedent for other counties and municipalities to run initiatives to close marijuana dispensaries. While 13 other counties have initiatives on the ballot, El Paso County’s is the only one that would close existing dispensaries.

Bob Hoban, attorney for the plaintiffs, believes that medical marijuana facilities are no different from any other business.

“They seek the right to continue operating their businesses with the same authority they were granted by their government when they first opened their doors,” Hoban said. “The county’s actions here reflect an unconstitutional attempt at a regulatory taking. They can’t say ‘yes’ to such business, take our clients’ money, and then reverse course on a whim.”

Hoban makes a good point, but he is wrong in one respect. Unlike your local hardware store, many El Paso County residents rely on these centers to supply them with the medicine necessary to manage their condition.

On could ask if the court would have taken the same position if the initiative placed a ban hospitals and pharmacies.

Many medical marijuana patients have conditions that prevent or limit their ability to travel to other facilities. Banning these businesses could put the health of many patients at risk and cause the suffering of many more.

Steve Hammers, a plaintiff in the case, said that if the measure passes it would be devastating to patients.

Gallup Poll: Support for Legalization on the Rise

By Ron Crumpton

According to a new Gallup Poll, more Americans now support the legalization of marijuana than ever before.

The results of Gallup’s annual crime polls show that 46 percent of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana. This equates to a rise of 15 percent over the last 10 years. If the current trend continues, the majority of Americans will be in support of the outright legalization of marijuana by 2013.

The poll shows that liberals are by far the largest group with 72 percent in favor of legalization. The majority of young people (18- to 29-year-olds, 61%), Democrats (55%), independents (54%), political moderates (51%) and Men (51%) support legalization. On the other hand, Republicans (29%) are the least supportive followed by conservatives (30%), older Americans (over 65, 32%), southerners (40%) and women (41%).

In a separate question, Gallup found that 70 percent of Americans support the use of medical marijuana, but unlike the numbers for legalization, that number is falling.

In 2005, 75 percent of Americans supported medical marijuana. Most experts, including the one writing this, believe that the fall in support for medical marijuana can be attributed to those who once supported it, but have now bought in to the back door to legalization propaganda.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Colorado Favors Marijuana Legalization but That Could Change

By Ron Crumpton

Polling by SurveyUSA has found that likely voters in Colorado support the complete legalization of marijuana in their state; the poll, which was conducted from October 19-21, shows that 46 percent favored legalization, 43 percent opposed legalization and 11 percent were undecided.

Due to a lack of excitement on the part of Democrats, the models used were heavily skewed toward older voters that are more conservative. Historically, this group is more apt to oppose legalization than most other groups.

If this poll had been conducted during a presidential election year, the results would likely favor legalization by an even greater margin. The turnout among younger voters, who are typically more likely to support legalization, is much higher during the presidential elections than they are in midterm elections. Therefore, if the poll had used the models for the larger elections it would have favored legalization by an even greater margin.

Since Colorado’s constitution allows voter initiatives, legalization will probably be put before voters in the 2012 elections.

While most people believe that passage of Proposition 19, in California, would improve the chance of passing a referendum, that may not be the case.

The reaction by Attorney General Eric Holder and the DEA to legalization in California could be a major factor in future support. If the Department of Justice, Los Angeles Sheriff’s department and the Los Angeles District Attorney follow through on threats to “vigorously prosecute federal marijuana laws in California,” the polling numbers could take a nosedive.

Unfortunately, unless President Obama decides to support the rights of California voters, they can be expected to do exactly that.

They realize that unopposed legalization in California would essentially be the end to the war on marijuana. A successful legal marijuana state would reduce the fear involved in passing similar laws in other states, and would force a more reasoned response to legalization on a national level.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Editorial: Arizona: Medical Marijuana Good, Governor Brewer Bad

By Ron Crumpton

ARIZONA – Governor Jan Brewer has formally announced her opposition to Proposition 203 because “medical marijuana leads to crime.”

First of all, if citizens of  Arizona want a good political barometer for what is in their own  best interest, their best course of action is to vote against Jan Brewer and anything that she endorses.

Governor Brewer’s actions and statements about health care, gay rights and immigration have made Arizona a laughing stock throughout the country.

Her signing of a bill that eliminated the states State Children's Health Insurance Program, known as KidsCare was asinine. This was a program designed to insure adequate healthcare for the children of Arizona. Children have no means to see to their own medical needs. No matter what your political leanings, if you think that we as Americans do not have a responsibility to see to the healthcare of all children then you do not know what America is about.

The prohibitions favorite rallying cry is "think of the children", but this goes to show how important the children are when it comes to their own political interests.

Her erroneous statements about headless bodies in the desert not only show that she has a willingness to lie when it serves her purpose, but her repeated assertions that it was true, even after it had been proven otherwise, just goes to show that she lacks the character to admit that she lied. If you want to say that she was “misinformed” then her repeated denials only go to show that she does not have the character to admit that she was wrong.

The fact that she signed legislation that repealed the right of gay and lesbian state workers to have their partner considered a dependant goes to show that if you don’t fall into the unique category of what she thinks an American should be, then your rights are of no consequence and you are less of a person than those who agree with her.

Now she has decided to bring her close-minded way of looking at the world to the medical marijuana debate.

 “I am fearful of the additional societal costs we will incur if voters were to pass this proposition,” she said at the news conference. “I ask my fellow Arizonans not to be bullied into believing this is about compassion for sick people.”

First of all Ms. Brewer, I think you should go down to your nearest cancer treatment center and tell the people there that the medicine that has been proven to be the best treatment for wasting syndrome and the ills associated with chemotherapy, is not really a medicine at all. Go ahead and tell them that they are just faking their illness to get marijuana, after all it is a backdoor to legalization.

Second, legalization would be good for her and Arizona. After all, legal marijuana would put the drug cartels out of the marijuana business. Maybe then, she would not find so many invisible headless bodies along Arizona’s border with Mexico.

There has been much debate lately about what percentage of money the cartels take in from marijuana. However, one thing is indisputable, if you look at it by size and weight; marijuana is by far their biggest product. Taking marijuana out of the equation would allow the border patrol to focus its limited resources on hard drugs, illegal immigration and protecting us from terrorist threats that could cross into this country through our border with Mexico.

At the press conference, she also stated that dispensaries would overwhelm communities and become magnets for crime. WTF!!! Prop 203 allows one dispensary for every 10 licensed pharmacies in Arizona. I am sorry, but this is the largest red herring I have ever seen. Prohibition has caused the rise of international criminal empires, but Governor Brewer is more worried that dispensaries would be magnets for crime.

Fortunately, her stance against medical marijuana is just as ignorant and ill conceived as her other political beliefs. The fact that she is against medical marijuana is more likely to convince undecided voters to vote for Proposition 2o3, than it is to convince them to vote against it.

Governor Brewer, the people of Arizona need real leadership, not a reject from the cast of Clueless.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stupid Files: Man Calls Police to Check “Nasty Marijuana”

By Ron Crumpton

Believing that he had been sold bad marijuana, a Uniontown, Pennsylvania man promptly called the police to investigate.

Now, just about all marijuana smokers, at one time or another, have purchased a bag of bunk, but when they do, they generally take the loss and chalk it up to experience. However, that is not always the case.

On Wednesday, an unidentified 21-year-old man stunned a Fayette County 911 dispatcher when he called to report that he had purchased some questionable marijuana.

Upon arriving at the Millview Street residence, officers noticed a leafy green substance lying on the couch. The young man said that he had just purchased the marijuana, but when he smoked it, it tasted nasty.
According to Detective Donald Gmitter, a field test showed that the substance was not marijuana, or any other controlled substance.

"We have received calls in the past that have astounded us,” Gmitter said. “We have had calls before of people giving money to prostitutes for services. When the prostitute ran off, they wanted to report a robbery or theft. They thought was legitimate."

To add insult to injury, not only did the guy get ripped-off on his marijuana purchase. According to Sgt. Wayne Brown, the man was charged with possession of a counterfeit substance.

You cannot blame this entry into the Stupid Files on marijuana because apparently the dude did not have any. He must come by his stupidity… naturally.

Friday, October 22, 2010

EDITORIAL: A Goodbye to Marijuana Princess Michelle Rainey

By Ron Crumpton

On Wednesday, the marijuana community lost a warrior, advocate and queen when Michele Rainey succumbed to her long battle with cancer. This leaves a big hole in our movement and our hearts.

Michelle K. Rainey
Michelle was only 39, but in her 39 years, she created more awareness to the cause, helped more people and did more to add to the legitimacy of our movement than most of us will in a thousand lifetimes.

Rainey was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease as a teenager, and like many medical marijuana patients, she found that marijuana eased the symptoms of her illness without the debilitating side effects caused by the chemical medications that her doctors had prescribed.

She became an advocate for marijuana and was responsible for organizing Marc Emery’s marijuana advocacy efforts.

She was one of the leading forces in the formation of the B.C. Marijuana Party, and she personally ran as a candidate touring in her Cannabus, which had been former U.S. President, and drug war king, Ronald Reagan’s old campaign tour bus.

She produced her own YouTube Show, Michelle’s Medicinal Marijuana. She distributed information on cannabis education and was a director of Treating Yourself magazine.

Later in her life, she was diagnosed with melanoma and lymphatic cancer. She succumbed to her illness Wednesday night. Her husband, Jeff Tek, and mother, Emilie was at her side at the end.

"Michelle needs to be recognized as one of the greatest activists this movement has ever had," said Emery in an email from a U.S. prison. "Michelle may have literally given her life to the movement, and when people think about what they can do for freedom in their lifetime, Michelle's life is a shining example of how much is possible, even under great duress."

In recent comments Michelle said, “I want people to keep working, keep working for change — too many sick people are still having difficulty getting their medication. That’s what I want as my legacy — change.”

Her short life was filled with pain and tragedy, but in the midst of her personal tribulations, she found the strength to stand up and fight for those who were unable to fight for themselves. She put aside her own pain to help others with theirs, and she educated millions to the truth about the world’s finest herb.

In short, Michelle changed the world, and for that, we should all be truly grateful.

Now it is time for the rest of us to stand up and continue the fight. It is time to pick up the torch that Michelle carried so proudly, so bravely because if we do not then all of the work that she gave her life for – was for nothing, and I for one cannot accept that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Does Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Indigent Patient Plan Help Enough Patients

By Ron Crumpton

On Wednesday, the Colorado State Board of Health approved a new program that would provide a sales tax exemption on the purchase of medical marijuana for the states poorer patients.

However, advocates and some board members have expressed outrage over the program because many of the states indigent patients still will not qualify for relief. With the millions of dollars the program has collected in fees, they are upset that the program could not include more patients.

"I just think with however many millions of dollars, we could have done a better job," said Joelle Riddle, member of the board of health.

The new program was in response to the legislature’s passage of a bill earlier this year. The bill requires that the health department to find a way to provide free enrolment into the states medical marijuana program for indigent patients, normally $90 per year, and that the cards be marked as “exempt” from sales taxes.

According to Ann Hause, the department’s director of legal affairs, the department does not have the staffing to process the applications to determine who qualifies for the program. Therefore, they are using enrollment in existing programs such as Supplemental Security Income or food stamps, but advocates say the measure would not include other indigent patients including, but not limited to, those who receive Social Security Disability or Veterans Administration benefits.

"We thought we needed to start somewhere, and this is where we decided to start," said Hause.

HIV Patient Damien LaGoy
A medical marijuana patient suffering from HIV, Damian LaGoy, said that after rent, food, health and marijuana expenses he could not afford the application fee. LaGoy’s current income is $14 to high to receive help from the state.

"In two days, my license expires," LaGoy said to the State Board of Health. "I don't have the $90. I have $1.15 in my bank."

On a split vote, the board approved the department's proposal but vowed to examine the standards to see whether or not they should be expanded.

Many of the advocates believe that this is just another case of a compassionate legislature trying to do right by patients and the bureaucracy that is the Colorado State Board of Health, trying to undermine their decrees.

Since voters passed Amendment 20 in 2000, with all of the medical research in the last 10 years that shows marijuana to be beneficial in treating numerous diseases, the Colorado State Board of Health has refused to approve any new conditions for treatment with marijuana. The original eight conditions – cancer, HIV/AIDS positive, severe pain, severe nausea, glaucoma, cachexia, seizures and persistent muscle spasms – are still the only ailments approved for treatment.

This shows you the board’s opinion of medical marijuana.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moms Say Marijuana Okay, Punitive Policies No Way

By Ron Crumpton

Of the many war cries used by advocates in their quest to legalize marijuana, perhaps the strangest of these is “do it for the children.”

However, if you attended the Press Conference held in California by members of the Women’s Marijuana Party, then that is exactly what you heard.

According to attorney and mother of two Hanna Dershowitz, it might be counterintuitive.

“I have the conversation [with my kids] every day about how much sugar is appropriate,” said Dershowitz. “The right thing is to have a reasonable conversation in the context of controlled, regulated marijuana.”

Gretchen Burns Bergman
The group had many reasons for their support of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, but perhaps the most compelling of those came from substance abuse counselor and Executive Director and Co-Founder of A New PATH Gretchen Burns Bergman.

In 1990, her oldest son, now in his thirties, was arrested for marijuana possession. She said that the initial arrest of her son led to a decade of cycling in and out of the prison system for non-violent, low-level drug possession charges.

This experience gave her a unique understanding of how the justice system in America treats marijuana users. Bergman said that a mother never stops advocating for her children, and that is why she is advocating for a change in California’s drug laws.

“Mothers are leading the charge, just as during the 30s,” she said. “Not because we love drugs and alcohol, but because we love our children and we cannot stand the costs of our punitive policies.”

Monday, October 18, 2010

EDITORIAL: D.A.R.E. to Protect Your Kids from Our Government

By Ron Crumpton

A fifth grader in Matthews, North Carolina turns in his parents to police officers after hearing Lesson About Marijuana from officers of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (D.A.R.E.).

With an annual cost of $1 to $1.3 billion DARE, is suppose to educate children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, has been a desperately unsuccessful program. The General Accounting Office (GAO) has found that there is no significant difference in the illicit drug use between kids who participated in DARE and those who did not, and in 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General placed it on the list of “Ineffective Programs.”

The only effectual reason that DARE has to remain in operation is that it teaches young people to turn their parents in to authorities for smoking a joint.

This  is what someone might expect to deal with in a totalitarian regime, but it is hardly what one would expect in, what is suppose to be, a free society.

What kind of government do we have when we teach children that people should go to jail for a victimless crime, and it is their responsibility to turn these dastardly villains over to the police, even if it is their own parents.

Even the government says that this program does not work, but we continue to arrest the parents and destroy the family bond. Not to mention the psychological damage to these small children when they grow up and realize the destruction that was caused to their lives and the lives of their parents happened because they did what police officers asked them to do.

It is a terrible thing when you have to call on parents and ask them to reeducate their children from the propaganda and hate that our government uses against them.

However, that is what we have to do.

Parents have to stay in communication about what their children are being taught in school, and they need to know who it is that is teaching them. Parents have to take steps to find out what is going on when their children tell them something questionable, and parents need to stand up to authority and speak when they feel that the government is leading their children down the wrong path.

Some people might say that the parents were dopers and deserved to go to jail, but what happens when the IRS gets your children to turn you in because you fudged a little on your taxes, or the highway patrol gets junior to rat you out for speeding?

Where does this stupidity end, and how much damage will be inflicted on the American family before it ends?

Stupid Files: Man Mails Package of Marijuana Includes Return Address

By Ron Crumpton
PORT HOPE, Ontario – Members of the Port Hope Police Department seized a package containing about two ounces of marijuana from the Port Hope Post Office.

The package was addressed to an Alberta post office box on the front and had a Sanders drive return address, which the police used to obtain a search warrant. The resulting search found approximately four pounds of marijuana.

While marijuana should not be against the law, it is. Therefore, if you plan to commit a crime by sending marijuana through the mail, the wisest course of action would not be to give police an obvious means of connecting you to the crime.

"There is a reason why it's called 'dope'. Not all criminals are intelligent and this certainly was a way to transfer it but (he) obviously got caught because he wasn't that hard to find," said Port Hope Police Sgt. Bryant Wood

Police are holding a 48-year-old Port Hope man. He is facing charges for trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Authorities have not yet released the man’s name, considering the circumstances surrounding his arrest; he should greatly appreciate their silence.