Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mobile County Sheriff's Department Involved in Questionable Shooting of Marijuana Suspect

Travis Perryman, Shot by Mobile County Sheriff's Deputy
By Ron Crumpton

An undercover drug investigator for the Mobile County Sheriff’s office shot a man in the face as he sat at a red light on Government Street in Midtown Mobile.

Travis Perryman was shot in the cheek and sent to University of South Alabama Medical Center. His injury was not life threatening and he was later released from the hospital.

According to Perryman, he was looking down texting on his phone when his friend, the driver of the vehicle, stopped at a red light at the intersection of Government Street and Bradford Avenue. He saw the flash from a riffle and saw the deputy hanging out of the van. Moments later, he realized he had been shot in the face.

Perryman said there was no warning, no sirens.

He asked to use his cell phone to call his mom to tell her he had been shot. According to him, he was told that he could not use the phone; you are going to make problems for us as it is.

A representative for the Sheriff’s Department said the deputies were conducting an undercover marijuana investigation and were attempting to pull over the car.

Perryman was not charged.

Lorenzo Turner charged with 1st degree possession
The Driver, 33 year-old Lorenzo Turner, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.

Deputy John McLain, the shooter and a veteran of law enforcement with over 30 year’s experience, has been placed on administrative leave until the pending investigation is complete.

This story does not coincide with the reports from deputies that they would not stop. Remember it was Perryman’s Story that the car he was in was stopped at a red light when he was shot.

According to reports from the Mobile Press Register, “Without going into details as to what precipitated the shooting, Tucker said one shot was fired through the driver’s side window as the vans boxed the Caprice in. Perryman was struck as he sat in the front passenger’s seat.”

“Somewhere during the stop the deputies felt threatened,” Tucker said.

Tamika McGaster, who told the Press-Register she was in traffic behind the deputies, said she saw one shot fired through the car window, and then she saw men pulling the driver through that window.

Carla Goodson, who said she was standing just outside the Krispy Kreme, said she did not see the blue lights in the undercover vans come on until after the gunshot rang out.

I was unable to obtain details on the police vehicles from the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department. However, in an email conversation with Renee Dials of Fox 10 News in Mobile she said, “According to the sheriff’s office the deputies were in unmarked vehicles.”

Tucker said a quantity of marijuana, which he said was pre-packaged for street sale, was found in the car, along with a pistol in the trunk of the car that was not involved in the incident.

This brings many questions to mind.

Why did the police feel threatened, and did it justify firing through the window of a car in Midtown Mobile?

If police fired the shot through the driver’s side window and struck the passenger in the cheek, the direction and angle of the bullet would have sent it toward the sidewalk and possibly endangering pedestrians.

If this was an ongoing undercover investigation as the police have stated, why would they jeopardize the public’s safety by trying to apprehend the suspects at a Midtown location?

It would make much more sense for the safety of officers and the public to  wait until the suspects stopped and exited the car. With the suspects out in the open in a less public place, it would have been much safer for everyone involved.

If officers found marijuana packaged for resale, why was Perryman not charged? Why was Lorenzo Turner only charged with 1st degree possession?

It only seems if police could make a case for distribution or any other charge, they would have damn well filed them. It would have at least made the suspects appear more dangerous and help justify the shooting.

The whole thing sounds just a little bit odd. According to Perryman, they had no idea that they were being followed by the police until they stopped at the red light. Witness Carla Goodson, who says she did not see the lights of the police vehicles until after shots were fired, and according to a statement from police to Fox 10 News, police were in unmarked vehicles, corroborated this.

This is not to imply that deputies are guilty of anything, but there is enough evidence that this should be looked into by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Bureau of investigation.

There has been nothing provided by the MCSD to suggest that this shoot was justified. “Officer’s felt threatened” does not cut it. What was the manner of that threat?

Eyewitness accounts suggest that it was not.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Editorial: Prohibitionists Control Your Own

By Ron Crumpton

There is absolutely nothing unusual about the anti-marijuana community being hypocritical, disgusting and downright pathetic, but occasionally you see something that makes you ask yourself what kind of monsters are these people.

I spend a lot of time scouring the internet looking at articles and searching for topics to write about.  Sometimes, I will read the comments posted along with these articles. I have seen some pretty objectionable stuff come out of the mouth of these prohibitionists.
Over the years, I have developed a thick skin. I have seen some very grotesque comments to articles, and due to my own writings, I have been called just about every objectionable name that you can think of and none of it seemed to bother me anymore.

However, recently these attacks on the NORML section of America have become so disgusting that I have to speak out.

It is not that uncommon for someone to post the comment in a news article that all drug users should be shot. I have seen it in countless newspapers from California to Alabama, but when someone is disturbed enough to post the comment in an article that refers to a 13 year-old girl being arrested and charged with possession of marijuana… I am sorry, but that person is just sick, and the authorities should be more concerned with finding that person and putting them in a mental institution than putting someone in jail for smoking a joint.

Another trend that just seems so shocking is that many of the vilest and disgusting comments come from users with the screen name ____Christian. Now whether you believe in god or not, most people would agree that the Jesus everyone talks about would not want these comments made in his name. So, for one to profess a belief in Jesus, and then make comments that defame, defile and denigrate everything he said and taught is the worst kind of sin you can perpetrate against your own god.

In the past, it seemed that the prohibitionists were simply uniformed and ignorant, but more and more it seems that some of these individuals are truly sick.

When advocates receive death threats for trying to get a valuable medicine into the hands of patients with cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, and other chronic conditions it tells you just how deranged some prohibitionists are.

When the Federal authorities raid dispensaries, even though the citizens of the state where it was located exercised their constitutional rights and voted to ease the suffering of patients, it shows that these people have infiltrated law enforcement.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that everyone in the anti-marijuana society is evil because to do that would make us no better than they are. Most are severely misinformed and misguided by propaganda and honestly believe that they are doing the right thing. For these people, the government is to blame for their ignorance, and it is our job to show them the truth.

However, I do not know of anyone in the marijuana community who would resort to these tactics. When I, and most of the advocates that I know, see people from our community make inappropriate comments, we are not afraid to call foul on our own, and it is well past time for the prohibitionist community to exercise the same kind of responsibility.

Threats, violence and name-calling are not going to solve this or any other issue. Instead, it only goes to degrade our causes, our nation and ourselves.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Schwarzenegger Shows His Ignorance In Prop 19 Op-ED

Governor Schwarzenegger
By Ron Crumpton

On Friday, the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, condemned the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for endorsing Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.

In his letter to the Los Angeles Times, he claims, “Any patrol officer, judge or district attorney will tell you that Proposition 19 is a flawed initiative that would bring about a host of legal nightmares and risks to public safety.”

If this is true, how does he explain the fact LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) supports Prop 19? How does he explain John McKay, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky and prosecutor of Marc Emery, said in a Seattle Times Op-ed that our marijuana policy is dangerous and wrong and should be changed through the legislative process to better protect the public safety?

How ignorant do you have to be, to say that legalizing marijuana in California risks the public safety?

California borders Mexico! I could not venture to guess the amount of marijuana smuggled across the U.S. border in to California from Mexico just during the time it takes you to read this. That does not count the illegal grows that are causing millions of dollars worth of ecological damage to federal lands in California, or the violence created by these illegal criminal empires.

Governor Schwarzenegger, I am going to let you in on a little secret… there is always going to be pot in “Kalifonia.”

I am not going to go on my usual tirade about our constitutional guarantees of liberty and how we should have the right to do whatever we want in our own homes provided we are not hurting anyone else.  Instead, let us talk about your subject governor; let us talk about public safety.

It is safer for Californians to have marijuana regulated and sold in safe environments than it is to continue to finance the Mexican drug cartels, because under a system of regulation, it will be harder, not easier for marijuana to get into the hands of children, but that is not the only issue.

Marijuana has been accused for years of being a gateway drug, while studies from the University of New Hampshire show this to be inaccurate, in one since it is true. The gateway is that it gives marijuana users, particularly young people, access to harder drugs. It is not uncommon for someone who sells marijuana to sell cocaine or another illegal substance, and legalizing marijuana would close that gateway.

Furthermore, it would make it a lot harder for the drug cartels and dealers to stay in business. Marijuana accounts for 60percent of the cartels annual income. To use an example, imagine if McDonalds could no longer sell hamburgers. Instead, they had to stay in business selling soft drinks, apple pies and hot fudge sundaes. How long do you think that would last?

Granted it would not put everyone out of business, but it would put the smaller fish out of business, and that would make it easier to catch the bigger fish. The DEA and Border authorities would have fewer crimes and criminals to investigate and would be able to put more resources into and make more progress against the drugs that are truly dangerous to our society.

The true danger in marijuana for the last 73 years has been the fact that it is illegal.

What was even more irrational about the governor’s letter is that in order to pay for the state’s budget shortfalls he would rather cut the pensions of state employees, than raise money through the legalization and taxation of cannabis.

Now, I realize that marijuana is not the savior of California. The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 is not going to solve all of California’s money problems, but the projected $1.5 billion in tax revenue is a mighty big drop in the bucket. After all, a billion here, a billion there, eventually it adds up to big money.

I believe the reason for this was more of a personal vendetta that the governor has against the SEIU. I did not see him writing letters blasting other organizations, like the Teamsters, for supporting the initiative.

The fact is, this union is standing up for its members, the employees of the state of California and Californians right to smoke Marijuana, but rather than debate the issue of legalization, Governor Schwarzenegger would rather try to use it as part of a smear campaign against the SEIU.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Motorist Beaten by DEA Wins Case, Fails to Obtain Justice

By Ron Crumpton

A U.S. District Court Judge awards $833,250 for the beating of a motorist at the hands of DEA agents after a 2003 traffic accident in Kansas City, Kansas.

Judge Julie A. Robinson called it a case of “road rage.” Timothy McCue and Barron R. Bowling were both driving down 10th street in Kansas City, Kansas when their two cars collided.

According to witnesses at the civil trial, McCue and two other agents exited the car with weapons drawn and dragged Mr. Bowling from his car.  Placed him face down on the pavement (on a 100+degree-day) and handcuffed him. McCue claims to have announced that he was with law enforcement, but witnesses claim to have no recollection of that.

According to witnesses, after being placed in handcuffs, and while still lying on the ground, Mr. Bowling was repeatedly punched in the face by McCue, then after being set up was repeatedly kicked by the federal agent.

During the ordeal, McCue repeatedly called Bowling “white trash” and a “system-dodging inbred hillbilly.” Witnesses said that McCue threatened to kill Bowling and that law enforcement agents "walked" McCue away to calm him down on at least three separate occasions.

McCue claimed that Bowling looked at him smiled and then purposely rammed his car, but Judge Robinson found that McCue’s testimony lacked credibility.

Bowling was arrested and charged with causing the accident and possession of drug paraphernalia (a marijuana pipe). The charges stemming from the accident were dropped, but he was convicted on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia.

To some people, $833,500 may sound like a lot of money, but the Bowling Family is very unhappy with the decision. It is seven years later and Bowling’s injuries still prevent him from holding a job. He suffers from myriad of mental and physical conditions including disabling migraines, hearing loss, problems with balance, nausea, flashbacks, insomnia and one suicide attempt that have been tied to the incident.

According to witnesses McCue was the only one who assaulted the victim, but neither of the other agents did anything to stop him. None of the agents was fired, and Timothy McCue is still employed by the DEA.

"Knowing the mental and physical damage that's been done to my son, he deserved a lot more than that," Bob Bowling, father of the victim, told AOL News. "He's been rather reclusive. It changed his personality, he's not outgoing like he used to be. I'd say he's slightly paranoid, untrusting.”

"His grandfather was an assistant police chief in Alabama, and would roll over in his grave if he knew the agent hadn't been fired, lost his retirement and gone to prison. That's exactly what I think should happen,” concluded the victim’s father.

To make matters worse. According Kansas City Police Detective Max Seifert, and supported by the judge in her ruling, the officer was told by his superiors to cover up for the DEA.

However, Seifert conducted a thorough investigation and consequently “lost his career over the case.” In her decision, the judge wrote, “Seifert was shunned, subjected to gossip and defamation by his police colleagues, and treated as a pariah."

Despite his injuries and what he feels is an inadequate judgment, Bowling is happy that his story has been told.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Editorial: No Thank You, I Do Not Want Your Chemical Medications

By Ron Crumpton

If you believe a release from Nature, URB937 is a new drug that kills pain like marijuana, without getting you stoned, but is that what medical marijuana patients want.

According to their release, URB937 only activates the CB1 receptors outside the brain and spinal cord. Therefore, it relieves the pain without getting you high.

The problem is that like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, URB937 is a chemical and for a large part of the medical marijuana community, that is exactly what they are trying to avoid.

I know that in my case, I had debilitating chronic back pain. Doctors prescribed large doses of narcotic painkillers and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

The NSAIDS caused me to develop ulcers that eventually caused my stomach to rupture on two separate occasions that resulted in three surgeries two of which my life was hanging in the balance. Finally, I had to have more than one third of my stomach removed, and as a result constantly suffer from nausea.

 Although the painkillers have the potential, they did not threaten my life they only made me suicidal, which is much better.

Many pain patients have taken chemical painkillers to the point that they have damaged their heart or liver and can no longer take them. There are patients that have gastric disorders who are unable to digest and absorb them into their system efficiently enough for them to be helpful, and people with cancer and AIDS often times cannot handle the many side effects of traditional medications.

For many patients, there is nothing that will fully relieve their pain. For these people the euphoria associate with marijuana can be the one thing that allows them to deal with the stress and strain of living with a chronic condition. In most cases, these patients would have to be treated for depression, anxiety or both. This would mean more chemical medications, which would have more side effects, and are unnecessary with the use of medical marijuana.

More than likely, this drug will get pushed through the FDA and it will be another Marinol, nothing more than another useless but dangerous chemical that will only further impede the efforts of medical marijuana advocates across the country.

Why is it so important to find something that works like marijuana? You would think that an herbal medicine that had the capacity to treat so many diseases would be the most sought after herb on the planet. Instead, it has been criminalized, villainized and ostracized.

If no one had ever heard of marijuana, and scientists discovered a new substance that could treat the sick, build homes and cars, provide paper, fuel and clothing there would be countries willing to go to war to possess it, rather than go to war to destroy it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Editorial: The Persecution of Michael Lapihuska

Michael Lapihuska: Photo by Ron Crumpton

By Ron Crumpton

Michael Lapihuska is facing a sentence that could be as much as 10 to 20 years, not for rape, burglary or murder, but for the possession of a single joints worth of marijuana.

Michael suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and has used cannabis for many years to combat the symptoms of his illness, but after suffering past arrests for possession, he moved to California. There a doctor recommended he take marijuana for his disorder, and he became a legal patient in that states medical marijuana program.

On December 15, 2009, Michael was hitchhiking back to Alabama from California to see his family for Christmas when he was stopped, searched – for apparently for no reason – and arrested for possession of one gram of marijuana by the Anniston Police Department.

This has to make any rational person ask themselves at least some of the following questions:

First, why are we still arresting people for possessing a substance that has been found to be less harmful than alcohol, tobacco or acetaminophen?

Second, Michael is a legal patient in California’s medical marijuana program, why would Alabama wish to intercede in an agreement between the state of California, a doctor and a patient?

Third, even if it is against the law, what is the point of sentencing the perpetrator of a victimless crime to such an exaggerated sentence?

Fourth, do you want to pay your part of at least $200,000 in taxes, so that the state of Alabama can house a prisoner for the possession of one joint?

Fifth, why would anyone want to put a patient, not a criminal, in jail for taking his medicine?

I could ask questions like this all day long, and the one thing that they have in common is that to do any of it, does not make a bit of sense.

During the escalation of the war on drugs in the 1990s, the United States Justice Department promoted the war on drugs as an effort to take down the drug lords, but 80percent of the increase in arrests were for marijuana possession.

If you are convicted of possession of marijuana, your chances of serving prison time is four percent greater than someone convicted of trafficking marijuana – Marijuana users sentenced to jail or prison time is 31percent, traffickers 27 percent.

The crazy war is not living up to the billing. We have spent millions upon millions of dollars in South America eradicating coca, but there is more cocaine in America than ever. We eradicate marijuana grown in the U.S., which just means more marijuana coming from Mexico and more money making it into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Even if marijuana was every bit the dangerous substance they would have you believe, it still could not do 10 percent of the damage that prohibition has done to America.

So, you have Michael. He is a man already suffering from PSTD, and due to the possession of one joint, this man has been under extreme mental stress wondering if he is going to be spending the next 20 years of his life in prison.

It is amazing that our government is willing to trample the constitutional rights of its citizens and inflict such harm on society in order to protect the fiscal interests of the oil, pharmaceutical, chemical and timber companies.

It seems that our politicians are more concerned with campaign contributions and maintaining the status quo than they are to justice or the fair treatment of Americans.

Michael Lapihuska is not a criminal, quite the contrary. He is a 37 year-old man with a likable personality, a pleasant quality and is quite literally willing to give you the shirt off his back. This is not prosecution, it is persecution, and there comes a time when people of good conscious cannot sit idly by and allow their government to persecute their fellow citizens.

If we are not willing to stand up and fight for people like Michael, who will be willing to stand up and fight for us?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Protesters in Montgomery Alabama: Let Marc Emery Go

By Ron Crumpton

Montgomery, Alabama – On Saturday, twenty to thirty marijuana activists from Alabama and Georgia turned out in a part of a global rally, its purpose was to protest the persecution and imprisonment of Marc Emery by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Emery considers the prohibition of marijuana to be a violation of many of our rights, including our civil rights. He also considers Martin Luther King Jr. to be one his heroes, and for these reasons, the planners chose to march the same path as the final leg of Dr. Kings 1965 Selma to Montgomery March.

The group started from the fountain at the base of Dexter Ave, they marched past King Memorial Baptist Church – where King served as pastor from 1954 to 1960 – and up to the steps of the capitol.
Along the way, chants of Free Marc Emery, No Victim – No Crime, and Free the Weed were heard as protesters made their way along Dexter Avenue.

As protesters stopped to have pictures taken with their signs in front of a vacant Montgomery police car, the officer came out of a nearby business, initially this seemed to cause a little anxiety for some, but the officer was very courteous and spoke to marchers and asked about the demonstration.

The members of the group would stop and talk to pedestrians who expressed an interest in what their protest was about.

It was hot, but other than that a beautiful day. The fact that it was Alabama, football season and a Saturday probably hurt turn out a little, but all of the marchers seemed very dedicated to ending the government’s persecution of not only Marc Emery but also their persecution of everyone that has ever smoked a joint.

The Alabama portion of Free Marc Emery Worldwide Rally was successful. There were no unfortunate incidents, and there were many people made aware of plight Marc Emery and the damage being caused by prohibition.

More Pictures:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Colorado Refuses to Approve Tourette’s Syndrome

The Colorado Board of Health rejected a petition to add Tourette’s syndrome to the list of medical conditions approved for treatment with medical marijuana.

“The vote was unanimous,” said Mark Shelly of the Colorado Department of Health.

In fact, Colorado has refused to add any new conditions to the list of ailments treatable by marijuana since voters  originally passed Amendment 20 in November of 2000.

"I don't see what we add to the mix by actually adding Tourette's under these circumstances," the board's president, Glenn Schlabs, told the Denver Post.

That is a puzzling statement when you consider that there are at least 11 different positive worldwide studies regarding the use of marijuana in treating Tourette’s syndrome dating back as far as 1988.

Currently, Colorado only recognizes eight conditions as being suitable for treatment with marijuana: cancer, HIV/AIDS positive, severe pain, severe nausea, glaucoma, cachexia, seizures and persistent muscle spasms.

There is a petition before the board to include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but medical marijuana advocates are not excited about the petitions chances of success. Many in Colorado believe that the board is unlikely to approve any new conditions for the program.

Judging from the fact that there have been no new additions to the approved list since the amendment passed, is a pretty good indicator that advocates in Colorado are justified in this lack of enthusiasm.

The facts are, the citizens of the state of Colorado voted for the passage of a medical marijuana law in their state. The law gave the Colorado Board of Health to oversee the program, but that board is not doing their job.

With all of the medical research conducted over the last 10 years, it incomprehensible that they have not approved any of these new conditions.

This is just another case of the government trying to overrule the will of the people because apparently the fact that the people of Colorado voted to amend that states constitution, means very little to people the people elected to represent them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chronic Kidney Failure Approved in Washington

By Ron Crumpton

Washington State – chronic kidney failure has been added to the list of conditions that marijuana is considered a valid medical treatment under state law.

It was the opinion of the state’s Medical Quality Assurance Commission that patients suffering from nausea and loss of appetite caused by dialysis would benefit from medical marijuana. However, they also warned that it could jeopardize a renal-failure patient’s eligibility for transplant.

Although, this was a victory for those who suffer from chronic kidney failure, it was key a defeat for those in Washington who are suffering from neuropathic pain and Alzheimer’s disease. The Medical Quality Assurance Commission failed to approve these conditions.

The commission concluded that the term neuropathic pain was too broad. According to the commission, many of the conditions that would fall under this term are already covered and some that would be covered should not be. It was their conclusion that the petition, brought by the Cannabis Defense Coalition, needed to be better defined.

In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, they ruled that there was insufficient scientific or anecdotal evidence that it could prevent the disease in humans.

It makes you wonder what constitutes enough and anecdotal. With Complutense University and the Cajal Institute in Madrid, Ohio State University and Scripps Research Institute having all issued studies that state otherwise, it makes you ask, how much evidence do you want?

The commission should be applauded for approving chronic kidney failure. Most reasonable people can even understand that they might want a tighter definition – after all they are not looking at the fact that it should be legal for everyone, they can only look at the medical question and the law.

However, Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease, and any evidence that it could help a dying patient should be enough evidence to leave the decision to the patient, his family and his doctor.

It is the stories where they give you a prize and then slap you in the face that makes you realize how far we have come, but also make you realize just how far we still have to go.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Edtiorial: Tell President Obama that the Ball is in His Court

By Ron Crumpton

For many years, the major push for the legalization of medical marijuana has focused on the individual states, and that push has yielded definite rewards with 14 states and the District of Columbia passing medical marijuana laws.

However, while the fight has brought legal marijuana to patients in those states, it has done very little to bring patients rights for those who choose to use marijuana to treat their ailments.

In a number of these states, patients have been fired for consuming marijuana as a medicine. Patients have been threatened with losing their homes or denied access to federal housing for utilizing a legal, medicinal substance in the privacy of their own homes.

Furthermore, even after the justice department announced that it would no longer pursue patients and dispensaries that are operating within the limits of state law, the DEA continues to conduct raids on medical marijuana patients and facilities. These patients and administrators are then tried in federal court where they cannot even use medical marijuana laws from their state as a defense.

So, while we continue to work on state law, we have to devote ourselves to making changes on federal alternatives.

In 2002, medical marijuana advocates made the most recent petition to have marijuana’s status, as a schedule 1 drug, changed. It has been under review by the Obama administration since May of this year.

The rescheduling of marijuana would be the biggest victory in the history of the medical marijuana movement.

It would codify state law, and force federal authorities to allow those laws to be used by defendants in federal court.

It would make an easier transition for states into the medical marijuana community and would remove criminal penalties for transporting the medicine across state lines and into other states that are starting a medical marijuana program, which a legally grown demand has been hard to supply in most states as they start their programs.

As a legally prescribed drug on the federal level, a number of laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act would protect patients. This would go a long way to prevent patients from having their rights trampled by employers and the numerous agencies of the federal government.

This is an important time!

With the petition for rescheduling marijuana on the president’s desk, now is the time to write the White House to urge them to support this action. If you are a patient, take the time to provide them with names of studies and links that support marijuana’s use for your condition, and tell them that they can no longer claim that cannabis has no medical value. There has been too much positive research on its medicinal value to continue to make this claim.

You can email President Obama, and tell him that he cannot allow this petition to continue to languish for years without a ruling. Tell him that too many people are suffering, risking their safety and risking their freedom for their right to take a medicine that has no constitutional reason for not being available to them to begin with.

Tell him that he promised change in America, and for so many of the sick and injured in America, medical marijuana is the change they were hoping for.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Editorial: Marc Emery is the Latest Casualty in the War on Marijuana

Marc Emery was sentenced to a five-year sentence
By Ron Crumpton

Seattle – On Friday, in U.S. District Court, Judge Ricardo Martinez sentenced ‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery to five years on the charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

At least there was some good news; Judge Martinez did recommend that Emery be allowed to serve his time in his native Canada. However, both the U.S. and Canadian governments would have to agree on the terms of extradition for this to come to fruition.

During his trial, the prosecution painted Marc Emery as the criminal in this affair. They said that he broke federal law and provided criminals with a means to perpetrate a crime.

However, the real facts are that the United States government is the one that has given criminal enterprises across the globe a means to perpetrate a crime. The federal government created and still maintains these criminal empires because they do not want to legalize… a plant?

How the United States government can accuse Marc Emery for a crime in this, considering the number of lives that have been ruined or lost in a senseless drug war that the government started, is incomprehensible.

Just a quick point to the federal government; it is the government that is responsible for every single death in the war on marijuana!

There should never have been a death in the war on marijuana because there should have never been a war on marijuana. Congress fired the first shot when it passed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

Thus, we have been fighting a war for the last 73 years over a series of laws, that violate our personal liberties and that violates our right to think for ourselves without being fed a bunch of bullshit propaganda by our government.

If it was not for these trumped-up, unconstitutional, destructive and unnecessary laws thousands of people like Marc Emery would not have to serve time in prison for a selling a fucking seed that produces a damn herb or for just possessing an herb.

If it were not for this despicable, treacherous, unimaginable and un-American war on marijuana, thousands of Americans from innocent schoolchildren, average Joes and law enforcement officials would still be alive today.

Marc Emery is the latest casualty in the war on marijuana, and his prosecution, or persecution, is just another case of how our government treats people when they have the courage to say “that is not true,” and it is how they treat those who try to educate the masses to the lies and injustices that their governments have perpetrated against them in the name of prohibition.

Marc Emery is a hero, and he has done so much to further the cause of legalization, but while he sits in prison, we cannot sit idly by and let his work go to waste. There is nothing that would be a greater betrayal the work that Marc has done on the behalf of marijuana enthusiasts everywhere.

There are many marijuana warriors currently incarcerated in the federal penal system as well in those of the states. Thanks to these people and others like them, the cause of legalization has gone from an indolent movement to a vigorous and vibrant society of like-minded individuals dedicated to a wonderful cause.

Tonight, Jodie Emery – and many other wives and lovers like her – will go to bed without the one they love because our government insists that it must continue this insane war on marijuana for the good of the country, when the only way for the government or anyone else to win this war… is for the government to end this war!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

He Prosecuted Marc Emery but Now Says Legalize It

John McKay
By Ron Crumpton

John McKay, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, said in a Seattle Times 0p-ed that our marijuana policy is dangerous and wrong and should be changed through the legislative process to better protect the public safety.

Marijuana prohibition "has utterly failed," McKay stated. "The demand for marijuana in this country has for decades outpaced the ability of law enforcement to eliminate it.”While he continues to believe that Marc Emery – a man he prosecuted for shipping marijuana seeds into the United States – and all marijuana smokers for that matter are idiots, but he sees the absurdity in continuing to try to enforce this country’s ineffectual drug policy.

He continued to write that while marijuana is nowhere near as dangerous as other drugs we continue to fill the pockets of Mexican and other international drug cartels, while needlessly putting the lives of cops, border agents and other law enforcement officials at risk for no legitimate reason. He states that he and other prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officials know that they cannot win a war on marijuana by arresting those involved in the importation, growth or distribution of marijuana, nor does it make any sense to continue to try to lockup all of the pot smokers.

Now he does not believe that the DEA is headed anywhere soon, but he does agree with me and many of you.

"We should give serious consideration to heavy regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry. We should limit pot's content of the active ingredient THC, regulate its sale to adults who are dumb enough to want it and maintain criminal penalties for sales, possession or use by minors, drivers and boaters," McKay said.

What he thinks of Marc Emery, me or pot smokers in general is not the issue, but when a major adversary of many, many years speaks out in favor of legalization, it is a victory.

EDITORIAL: Will Unlikely Voters Pass Proposition Nineteen

By Ron Crumpton

According to a SurveyUSA, a September survey of likely voters revealed that 47percent of those polled favored legalization, while 43percent were against legalization.

The key phrase here is likely voters. If proposition 19 passes it will be because of unlikely voters, not likely voters.

If a state has ever had the opportunity to stand and say, “we are not going to go along with the bullshit any longer,” California is that state. By being registered and going to the polls, the counter culture has an opportunity to pass its dearest piece of legislation, legalization.

Once again, California has the opportunity of being the guinea pig for the rest of the nation. Once again, California has the opportunity to show the rest of the nation that the prohibition of cannabis is more dangerous than the legalization of cannabis. Once again, California has the opportunity to show the rest of the nation that the propaganda shoved down our throat, by the government, for the last 100 years is nothing more than a bunch of twisted lies from the ignorant, the insidious and the insane.

The facts show that cannabis is less dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes, and unlike these substances, cannabis has legitimate medical uses. The legalization of cannabis would allow law enforcement to focus on drugs that are actually killing our kids such as crystal meth, heroin and cocaine. Legalization and legal production of cannabis would put many criminal gangs out of business and prevent violence.

Amsterdam has already proven that when you separate cannabis users from hard drugs, you have a much lower rate of cannabis users transferring to hard drug use. With prohibition in America, it is not uncommon for dealers to sell more than one product. Cannabis is a gateway drug only in the sense that it tends to make other substances more easily available to cannabis users. Legalization would end this contact, if you want other substances you would have to cultivate other sources.

Aside from the many reasons that pot should be legalized, this is an opportunity for anyone who believes that the federal government tries to enforce too much control over our personal lives, to stand up. Anyone who truly believes that liberty means that you have the freedom to do whatever makes you happy in the privacy of your own home – provided you are not harming anyone else – should support this issue.

This is the biggest opportunity that cannabis community has ever had. Not only is it a major step for the citizens of California, but it is a necessary first step toward the end of cannabis prohibition for the entire country. This can be easily proven because since the birth of Proposition 19 in California and the release of their tax projections, many other states have started to show interest in legalization.

However, if the mass of California cannabis users whom have never voted in any election fail to vote in this election; legalization will not pass. The result, the cannabis community will suffer its greatest setback since the passage of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Study Shows Marijuana’s Risk as a Gateway Drug is Overstated

By Ron Crumpton

A study from the University of New Hampshire shows that illicit drugs use is affected more by lifestyle factors than by early use of marijuana.

According to the study, employment status, stress, race and ethnicity are much stronger predictors of whether a person will use hard drugs as compared to marijuana use.

University of New Hampshire associate professors of sociology Karen Van Gundy and Cesar Rebellion conducted the study. It will appear in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior’s September 2010 issue.

Researchers used statistics gathered from over 1,200 students attending the Miami-Dade public schools during the 90’s.

"While marijuana use may serve as a gateway to other illicit drug use in adolescence, our results indicate that the effect may be short-lived, subsiding by age 21. Interestingly, age emerges as a protective status above and beyond the other life statuses and conditions considered here. We find that respondents 'age out' of marijuana's gateway effect regardless of early teen stress exposure or education, work, or family statuses," the study says.

Keeping marijuana out of the hands of children should be everyone’s priority, but evidence continues to mount that proves that it poses no real threat to adults.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Medical Marijuana Patients to Lose Their Homes

By Ron Crumpton

Albuquerque, New Mexico – Monarch properties, a property management company that manages nearly 80 apartment complexes, has announced that tenants will be evicted if found with medical marijuana on their properties.

According to Monarch, in order to receive funds from the federal government it must follow federal law, which deems marijuana illegal.

The states medical marijuana program is overseen by the New Mexico Health Department, and they say that Monarch is within their right to employ such a policy.

“The problem is the conflict between state and federal law, so this could happen in any state that has a medical cannabis program,” said Deborah Busemeyer of the New Mexico Department of Health. “We believe it’s for people who have serious medical conditions and they need it to provide relief for what they’re suffering.”

It is unclear at this time how many people the new policy will affect.

Monarch claims that the change has come in response to increased pressure from the federal government to crack down on the use of medical marijuana in federally subsidized housing.

However, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development – who released a statement on Tuesday in response to the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, who made similar claims – said that this is not the case.

"Local housing authorities have the discretion to evict a tenant for using medical marijuana...they can evict, but they don't have to evict," Department of Housing and Urban Development.

One thing is certain, in state after state; patients continue to lose their jobs and are now being threatened with losing their homes simply because they choose to use the medicine that works best for them.