- Joe Rogan’s Experience (exohuman.com)
- Joe Rogan Podcast 276 – David Seaman, Abby Martin, Dell Cameron (dprogram.net)
- Wednesday 28 November 2012 – Joe Rogan: What is reality? (thelabyrinthoflife.net)
6 Dec 2012
Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, “Breaking the Taboo” is produced by Sam Branson’s indie Sundog Pictures and Brazilian co-production partner Spray Filmes and was directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade.
Featuring interviews with several current or former presidents from around the world, such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.
NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform
Nearly six out of ten Americans support legalizing cannabis, according to a just released Public Policy Polling automated telephone survey of 1,325 voters, commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.
58 percent of respondents said that marijuana ‘should be legal.’ Only 34 percent of respondents opposed the notion of legalizing cannabis. A solid plurality of voters (47 percent of respondents versus 33 percent) also said that the federal government should not interfere with newly passed marijuana legalization measures in Colorado and Washington.
Male respondents endorsed legalization by a greater margin than women. 62 percent of men backed legalization; 54 percent of female respondents endorsed legalizing marijuana.
Nonetheless, the overall polling data indicates that a greater percentage of Americans today back legalizing marijuana than at any prior time in modern history.
by David Borden,
December 05, 2012
On December 5, 1933, the 21st amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing federal prohibition of alcohol and sending alcohol regulation back to the states.Tomorrow, December 6, 2013, possession of marijuana for persons under 21 becomes legal in Washington State. There’s a long way to go before marijuana prohibition finally lands in history’s dustbin, much less overall drug prohibition. And of course we are anxiously waiting to see what the feds will do. On the other hand we’ve lived with marijuana prohibition for more than 75 years, compared with alcohol prohibition’s 13 years, or drug prohibition’s near century, so the week is certainly an historic one.
A big anniversary, and a big day. Stay tuned.
The crowds of happy people lighting joints under Seattle’s Space Needle early Thursday morning with nary a police officer in sight bespoke the new reality: Marijuana is legal under Washington state law.
Hundreds gathered at Seattle Center for a New Year’s Eve-style countdown to 12 a.m., when the legalization measure passed by voters last month took effect. When the clock struck, they cheered and sparked up in unison.
A few dozen people gathered on a sidewalk outside the north Seattle headquarters of the annual Hempfest celebration and did the same, offering joints to reporters and blowing smoke into television news cameras.
“I feel like a kid in a candy store!” shouted Hempfest volunteer Darby Hageman. “It’s all becoming real now!”
‘The Dude abides, and says ‘take it inside!'”—Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, police spokesman
Washington and Colorado became the first states to vote to decriminalize and regulate the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by adults over 21. Both measures call for setting up state licensing schemes for pot growers, processors and retail stores. Colorado’s law is set to take effect by Jan. 5.
Technically, Washington’s new marijuana law still forbids smoking pot in public, which remains punishable by a fine, like drinking in public. But pot fans wanted a party, and Seattle police weren’t about to write them any tickets.
In another sweeping change for Washington, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage. The state joins several others that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
The mood was festive in Seattle as dozens of gay and lesbian couples got in line to pick up marriage licenses at the King County auditor’s office early Thursday.
King County and Thurston County announced they would open their auditors’ offices shortly after midnight Wednesday to accommodate those who wanted to be among the first to get their licenses.
Kelly Middleton and her partner Amanda Dollente got in line at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Hours later, as the line grew, volunteers distributed roses and a group of men and women serenaded the waiting line to the tune of Going to the Chapel.
Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday.
In dealing with marijuana, the Seattle Police Department told its 1,300 officers on Wednesday, just before legalization took hold, that until further notice they shall not issue citations for public marijuana use.
‘This is a big day because all our lives we’ve been living under the iron curtain of prohibition.’—Vivian McPeak, Hempfest director
Officers will be advising people not to smoke in public, police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee wrote on the SPD Blotter. “The police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a Lord of the Rings marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to.”
He offered a catchy new directive referring to the film The Big Lebowski, popular with many marijuana fans: “The Dude abides, and says `take it inside!”‘
“This is a big day because all our lives we’ve been living under the iron curtain of prohibition,” said Hempfest director Vivian McPeak. “The whole world sees that prohibition just took a body blow.”
Washington’s new law decriminalizes possession of up to an ounce for those over 21, but for now selling marijuana remains illegal. I-502 gives the state a year to come up with a system of state-licensed growers, processors and retail stores, with the marijuana taxed 25 per cent at each stage. Analysts have estimated that a legal pot market could bring Washington hundreds of millions of dollars a year in new tax revenue for schools, health care and basic government functions.
But marijuana remains illegal under federal law. That means federal agents can still arrest people for it, and it’s banned from federal properties, including military bases and national parks.
The Justice Department has not said whether it will sue to try to block the regulatory schemes in Washington and Colorado from taking effect.
“The department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged,” said a statement issued Wednesday by the Seattle U.S. attorney’s office. “Neither states nor the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress” — a non-issue, since the measures passed in Washington and Colorado don’t “nullify” federal law, which federal agents remain free to enforce.
The legal question is whether the establishment of a regulated marijuana market would “frustrate the purpose” of the federal pot prohibition, and many constitutional law scholars say it very likely would.
That leaves the political question of whether the administration wants to try to block the regulatory system, even though it would remain legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
Alison Holcomb is the drug policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and served as the campaign manager for New Approach Washington, which led the legalization drive. She said the voters clearly showed they’re done with marijuana prohibition.
“New Approach Washington sponsors and the ACLU look forward to working with state and federal officials and to ensure the law is fully and fairly implemented,” she said.
Pot-smokers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your pipe dreams.
Marijuana legalization is a beginning, not an end.
When residents of Colorado and Washington voted to legalize the adult use of cannabis, it felt like a momentary rush of sobriety in a country dazed by decades of anti-marijuana hysteria. But what comes next?
The drug war edifice is cracking and the end of prohibition may be nigh. Or may not be. The way things play out is not preordained. Major strategic differences among legalization proponents are surfacing about how to proceed. Some drug policy reform leaders, fearing an official backlash, are urging a cautious, go-slow, approach: make it as easy as possible for the feds to back off and let the states do their thing. Other voices, claiming a pro-pot electoral mandate, are calling for bold, assertive moves to implement the will of the voters.
Some medical marijuana dispensary operators are celebrating the prospect of expanding into adult sales, while others worry about getting squeezed out as weaker players fold in an increasingly competitive, multibillion-dollar industry. Mom-and-pop growers in the Emerald Triangle of Northern California, America’s cannabis bread basket, who’ve paid their dues over the years, cringe when they hear of post-election overtures to tobacco companies from single-issue obsessed, DC-based, drug policy reform lobbyists who presume to speak for tens of millions of cannabis consumers.
The future of cannabis is up for grabs – as much as anything can be in our ailing, corporate-dominated culture. So why not think big? Here are some ideas:
1. Tax and Regulate: Endorsed by 500 economists and several Nobel laureates, a 2005 report projected that ending marijuana prohibition in the United States would save $7.7 billion in combined state and federal spending, while taxing herb transactions would bring in $6.2 billion annually—a net gain of close to $14 billion. Whatever funds that re-legalizing cannabis adds to federal and state treasuries should be matched dollar for dollar by cuts in the obese Pentagon budget, which currently exceeds the combined military expenditures of the next 21 countries on earth. If the United States can’t defend itself with a budget equal to the combined military expenditures of the next top 10 countries, then America’s military leaders are incompetent and ought to be dumped.
2. Cultivate: Implement small-is-beautiful regulations capping the number of marijuana plants in a way that favors family farms rather than agribusiness giants. Make organic farming practices mandatory and discourage high-energy intensive indoor grows. Tobacco companies – or any businesses Big Tobacco invests in – shall not be permitted to grow cannabis or produce cannabis products. Tobacco farmers instead will be encouraged to cultivate industrial hemp, which was needlessly banished from the American agricultural landscape because of the war on drugs. Offer tax breaks for farmers and companies that engage in large-scale cultivation and production of fiber hemp, a versatile, ecologically sustainable plant with more than 25,000 known industrial applications – everything from hemp clothing, food and cosmetics to hemp surfboards, insulation and car panels.
3. Exchange: Organically grown marijuana should be available for barter and purchase by men and women 18 years and older in licensed cannabis dispensaries, herb stores, farmers markets, whole (small “w”) food emporiums, and health clubs from sea to shining sea. Liquor stores, drug store chains and supermarket chains will be barred from selling marijuana because they sell dangerous, unhealthy products: cigarettes, booze, toxic household items, children’s toys reeking of endocrine-disrupters, pharmaceuticals with pernicious, sometimes lethal, side effects, junk food loaded with corn syrup, neurotoxic additives and GMOs. In order to minimize exposure to these harmful substances while promoting cannabis commerce, it’s crucial to disentangle marijuana from mainstream corporate monoculture.
4. Apologize: All marijuana prisoners must be freed immediately and the U.S. government should pay reparations to those whose lives were ruined because they were among the more than 20 million people convicted of violating U.S. laws against marijuana possession. Reparations should also be paid to medical patients — including military veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries — who have been denied access to marijuana or discriminated against because they used cannabis for therapeutic purposes. And the millions of U.S. drug war victims in Latin America and other countries should also be compensated. This won’t ever happen given the astronomical sums at stake. In lieu of reparations, the U.S. government must issue a formal apology for waging a dishonest, destructive, and logically incoherent crusade against cannabis users at home and abroad.
5. Experiment: Medical marijuana in California, the first state to re-legalize the herb for therapeutic use in 1996, began as a laboratory experiment in democracy, and it has led to a cultural shift in favor of legalizing cannabis for personal use. A portion of the revenue accrued from taxing legal marijuana transactions should be used to underwrite other laboratory experiments in democracy – in particular, green new deal work programs founded on the premise that a green economy entails more than producing environmentally benign consumer goods. Spearheaded by a burgeoning cannabis industry, a green economy will point the way toward novel forms of labor-sharing, voluntary simplicity, and local self-providing, while challenging the tyranny of the job system that was implanted during the industrial revolution. (Work yes!! Jobs no!) Alienation and bleak prospects, not marijuana-smoking, are root causes of amotivation.
6. Educate: For a long time, the illegality of cannabis acted as a deterrent to clinical research in the United States. Recent scientific discoveries regarding the “endocannabinoid system” – which includes “cannabinoid” receptors in the brain and body that respond pharmacologically to marijuana – have breathtaking implications for nearly every area of medicine. This information will be integrated into science classes, medical school curricula, and continuing education seminars for doctors, other health professionals, and the general public. And the federal government henceforth will vigorously sponsor clinical investigations into marijuana’s healing potential, which has barely been tapped.
7. Heal: Make cannabis a centerpiece of a robust single-payer healthcare system that rewards citizens who embrace healthy lifestyles, preventative medicine, and holistic healing options. There should be incentives for women who breastfeed their children (kids who breastfeed are typically healthier than non-breastfed offspring) and for people who medicate with marijuana, exercise regularly and eat whole food diets. (Medical marijuana patients in general drink less alcohol and take less painkillers and Big Pharma meds than patients who don’t use cannabis.) Healthcare costs will plummet when the federal government guarantees that every citizen has access to vitamin D in sufficient quantities, as well as orally ingested cannabis extracts infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant with remarkable healing properties. Vitamin D combined with CBD will become the “killer” public health app of the post-prohibition era.
8. Occupy: Legalizing marijuana without challenging endemic social injustice is a formula for “repressive tolerance” – cut the masses some slack while they’re getting shafted. Economic inequality is socially divisive, psychologically stressful, and hugely damaging in terms of health outcomes, especially for poor people, who comprise half the population in 21st century America. Massive inequalities disgrace and sicken the United States. Extensive research has shown that health and social problems by almost every measure — from mental and physical illness to violence and drug abuse — are more prevalent in countries with large income disparities. A post-prohibition society that doesn’t address pathological income inequality will not be able to heal itself.
Photo Credit: ShutterStock.com
There are now legal medical cannabis programs in 18 states plus Washington, DC, with pot fully legal for adults in two other states. Ironically, however, the actual healing power of the plant has barely been tapped. Smoking marijuana with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), or better, vaporizing it (using a device to bake the plant material and inhale the active ingredients), has an indisputably palliative effect and can be medically useful for pain relief, calming and appetite stimulation. It already has confirmed benefits against glaucoma, epilepsy and other specific diseases and disorders. It also gets people high. THC triggers cannabinoid receptors in the brain and this produces the sensation of being stoned. These receptors are found in the parts of the brain linked to pleasure, memory, concentration, and time perception.
Medical cannabis has a long history of use, starting in India, and then in China and the Middle East some 6,000 years ago. It came to the West in the 1800s, where it was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia until the 1930s. Used for over 100 ailments, cannabis was a favorite of our grandparents for cough remedies, analgesics, and tonics and was available over the counter at every local drugstore as well as companies such as Sears, Roebuck and Co. Banned in 1937 via the Marijuana Tax Act as part of a politically and racially driven prohibition craze, it was gradually removed from the pharmacopeia and research was discouraged and later prohibited via drug scheduling. The FBI linked the herb with insanity and claimed a direct correlation between cannabis and violence, and even death, especially when used by people of color.